The traditional league leaders usually expect a hard-fought contest, but Tracy’s cool-headed passing and ball control proved to be more than a match for the Flames’ aggressive play.
The win puts Tracy in control of its destiny in the SJAA going into the second half of the league season. Tracy (12-2-1 overall, 5-0-1 SJAA) is first in the league, including two wins over Lodi (6-5-4, 3-2-1), including a 2-0 win in Lodi on April 4.
Tracy coach Nate Perry said his team keeps getting better every week as the Bulldogs look toward playoffs, as much as their quest for the league title.
“We’ve been athletic enough to win,” he said. “The last week we’ve been working on easy passes and moving the ball from side to side, and the girls really took it heart and used it in the game, and it showed.”
Junior midfielder Marissa Sanchez agreed that all aspects of the Bulldogs’ game worked as planned Friday.
“It was one of our greatest games, and it got our confidence up a lot,” she said.
Tracy scored a cluster of goals in the first half, first in the 18th minute as Cailie Chayrez passed from the middle to Autumn Bolton on the right, and Bolton shot the ball over the Lodi goalie’s head for the score.
Mariah Serrato scored six minutes later off a pass from Bria Outland.
Tracy goalkeeper Amanda Simonich was credited with an assist as she sent a kick up the right side of the field, and Outland chased the ball down to take the shot and make it a 3-0 game.
Chayrez scored 15 minutes into the second half on an assist from Kellie Piazza, and Sanchez scored from the left side after she collected a pass from Bolton. Bolton followed three minutes later with a goal after she got the pass from Serrato, and Taylor Roach scored in the final minute after she collected a pass from Alissa Peterson and took the open shot into the left side of the goal.
Tracy goes to Lincoln on Friday, April 27, for another key matchup, and will have to face Bear Creek, which played the Bulldogs to a 2-2 tie on April 13, one more time.
Tracy’s freshman-sophomore girls (15-0, 6-0) beat Lodi 5-0 on Friday.
Kelly Brooks scored two goals, and Kennedy Gray, Gabriella Tassano and Hunter Wells also scored for Tracy, and Daesha Brown, Shelly Hagelston and Taylor Hurlock had assists.