The soccer season came to an end for the Petaluma High School girls soccer team when the Lady Trojans were beaten, 1-0, by Kennedy of Fremont in the second round of the North Coast Section Division 3 playoffs on Saturday night. But the season didn’t end until the Lady Trojans had played a historic game, becoming the first team to play on the school’s newly refurbished synthetic-turf field.
The Lady Trojans celebrated the honor by dominating De Anza, 7-2, last Thursday in the first round of the NCS playoffs.
The new Petaluma turf was dazzling under the lights at Steve Ellison Field, but no more so than the Lady Trojans, who gave up the game’s first goal on a shot that narrowly eluded goalie Clara Rocio-Garcia, but then took complete control of the game.
By half, the Petaluma advantage was 4-1 and could have been bigger had not several good Petaluma shots not hit a post, drifted wide or narrowly sailed over the top of the net.
Scoring for the Lady Trojans came from multiple sources. Frances Goughnour scored two goals and Hannah Hermann, Amanda Rocha, Melissa Rocha, Liz Manka and Lauren Hazel one apiece.
Petaluma coach Deegan Babala said the potent Lady Trojan offense was nothing new. “We’ve played well throughout the season,” he explained. “This was a good average game for us.”
Although the Lady Trojans were strong in all areas, the key to much of their success was a core of strong midfielders that included Kendra Barry, top scorer Hazel, who is only a sophomore, Hermann, Goughnour, Alondra Hernandez and freshman Charlotte Crysdale.
“They are really good athletes and technically sound,” said Babala.
Petaluma was hurt when Melissa Rocha. one its best players, was injured. But others stepped up to take up the slack, with Delaney Jonson, Sydney Dennis, Miranda Grevin and others all contributing.
The defense featured outstanding play from Sarah Mughannam, Tessa Lambert, Nicolette Starke and Zoey Frothinger.
Foreign exchange student Rocio- Garcia, who came to the Lady Trojans as a striker, volunteered to step into a void at goalkeeper and had an excellent season.
Babala, in his second year coaching the Petaluma team, said it helped that he had a veteran team that had further benefited by playing club soccer together.
The tough loss at Kennedy means that the Lady Trojan players won’t be back on the Petaluma field until next winter, but they will always be the first.