There should not be an empty seat at the Sierra Soccer Complex for this one. Sure, there will be three games left, but Friday’s fixture between Sierra College and Santa Rosa Jr. College just may be a battle for the Big 8 crown. After yesterday’s 5-0 thrashing of visiting American River College, the Wolverines find themselves one point ahead of the Bear Cubs atop the conference standings (assuming SRJC beat winless Sac City yesterday) with four contests left.
In keeping with Halloween timeliness, the records of the two teams are eerily similar. Sierra is 12-3-2 overall, 7-1-2 in the Big 8, while Rosa is 12-3-1 and 7-2-1. They battled to an epic 1-1 tie in Santa Rosa on October 1 with Meghan Martell scoring on assists from Jasmin Lopez and Gigi Grana at 6:00. The Bear Cubs tied it up seven minutes later on an unassisted goal by Christina Rebata. From there, the defenses took over for both squads. Sierra’s backup keeper Celene Johnson was outstanding as she filled in for injured starter Molly McConnell.
Speaking of McConnell, she recorded her ninth shutout yesterday against the Beavers. If there’s a better keeper in the Big 8, I haven’t seen her. That goes for Casey McCavitt, too, who is probably the best defender in the conference. She seemed to be there yesterday every time the Beavers crossed midfield. She is the heart and soul of these Wolverines.
But, let’s get back to Friday’s pivotal game. Santa Rosa is the seven-time defending league champion and Sierra coach Jason Gantt and his Wolverines would like nothing better than to wrest the trophy from the Bear Cubs’ firm grasp. This one is as big as it gets in community college sports. I hope to see a sea of Cardinal and White at the Sierra Soccer Complex Friday, beginning at 3:30.
Here is a photo of the team hamming it up during their photo shoot to lighten things up!