College sports

SCC soccer team draws with Napa Valley, seals BVC title

By November 8, 2011

Napa Valley College Goalkeeper Kerry McGrath grabs the ball to cut off Solano Falcon Megan O'Dwyer's drive to the goal during the game at Napa Tuesday. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

Napa Valley College Goalkeeper Kerry McGrath grabs the ball to cut off Solano Falcon Megan O'Dwyer's drive to the goal during the game at Napa Tuesday. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

NAPA — Add another feather to the cap of the Solano Community College soccer team.

The Falcons battled to a scoreless draw with host Napa Valley College on Tuesday, enabling Solano (9-6-4, 8-0-3 BVC) to capture its fifth straight Bay Valley Conference title and its eighth overall in 10 seasons.

It also put Napa Valley (9-3-8, 6-0-6 BVC) squarely in second place behind Solano.

It was also the second scoreless draw between the Falcons and Storm this season — Napa’s first.

“They got the results in the rest of the season, and for a first-year program to compete like that is a big accomplishment,” said Solano coach Jeff Cardinal. “I like that Napa provides some good competition for us in our conference.”

Not to say that the BVC is weak in women’s soccer, but Solano is coming off a streak of 20 straight shutouts in conference play dating back to the end of the 2009 season.

Certainly, Cardinal sees Solano and Napa becoming strong rivals for the BVC title in the coming years.

But locking up that fifth title in a row shows that the Falcons still rule the roost.

On Tuesday the Falcons did it in a battle of defenses as the teams went back and forth for much of the first half before Solano started to take over late in the second.

“Our defense played very well, they were winning the balls in the air, playing smart defense, and they played very well together,” Cardinal said. “Winning the ball in the air is the big thing. They kept Napa out of the goal.”

Goalkeeper Ashley Yoell spent the full 90 minutes in net and stopped everything that came her way.

That was a good thing because while the Falcons had their chances, they weren’t able to finish on the offensive end of things.

Forward Alyssa Orme said the team was too amped up for the game.

“We needed to calm down, we wanted it way too much,” she said. “We needed to settle down, and if we played like that we definitely score a couple.”

With one more conference game on Thursday before the playoffs start, Orme said the Falcons need to keep things simple on the field.

“It’s all just mental,” she said. “We overthought, and we need to keep it simple.”

For Cardinal, the effort was there all day.

“We had maybe a bit of a slow start, but then we got into it,” he said.

At halftime he told the players to settle down and “just play soccer,” and they did.

“The second half was just great,” he said. “It was fun to watch them battle. Both teams played hard . . . you got to go all out.”

Solano will celebrate sophomore day on Thursday with a 3 p.m. home match against College of Marin to wrap up the BVC schedule.

Heading into the playoffs, the Falcons have high hopes.

“We have to stay confident, play hard and leave it all on the field,” Orme said. “Hopefully we can go all the way this year.”

Cardinal said his team will likely be on the road to start the Northern California playoffs, which begin Nov. 19.

The Falcons currently sit at No. 11 in the north rankings, two spots ahead of the Storm.

Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6979, or [email protected]


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