By Dante Quazzo
Coming into Wednesday night’s North Coast Section semifinal, University High School had only lost to two teams all year. Unfortunately for the Red Devils, one of them was Redwood.
The Giants repeated their success against the Red Devils on Wednesday night at Kimball Field, and upset top-seeded University 2-0 to advance to the NCS final against Marin Catholic.
The Red Devils (21-3-1) opened play strongly, and had a few scoring chances early in the match, but after Kayla Symanovich missed a header in the third minute, University failed to take a shot on goal for another 53 minutes as the Redwood (14-1-5) defense rebuked every University attack.
“The balls bounced our way today,” said Redwood head coach Jason Werner. “We had girls moving well off the ball, we kept really good shape and were able to find open players.”
Redwood as held scoreless though most of the first half as well, but broke through late.
In the 35th minute, Redwood sent a ball toward the top of the net, but a fantastic save by University goalkeeper Karyll Davis kept the Giants scoreless.
On the ensuing corner kick, however, the Giants opened the scoring when Redwood’s Jamie Goddard lobbed the ball into the box and teammate Zoe Trutner headed it in.
“Zoe went in for the play, and she’s really good at headers,” Goddard said. “I just tried to get it as close to her as I could, and she put it in.”
Goddard added a goal of her own in the 63rd minute, as her corner kick went directly into the net.
“We get great delivery from our right and left side [on corner kicks], and we have some great finishers as well,” Werner said.
Despite the loss, Davis put on a clinic in net with 12 saves on the day, and showed great athleticism on multiple diving saves.
“I thought she was phenomenal,” said University head coach Deejae Johnson. “She was really alert. I thought she was active, she was brave, and she made some dynamite saves.”
The Giants controlled possession for the vast majority of the game, and the constant pressure was able to break through the University defense. Redwood tallied 14 shots to University’s three, to go along with seven corner kicks.
“I’m really proud of the girls,” Johnson said. “They’ve come a long way. The seniors have had four excellent years. We lost to two teams this year. We started and ended the season with a Redwood loss, but in between that we played a lot of really, really good soccer.”
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