By Josh Levine
University High School’s girls soccer team is now back on top of the Bay Counties League West after a late first-half goal propelled the Red Devils to a tight 1-0 win over Lick-Wilmerding on Wednesday at City College of San Francisco.
The Red Devils (7-3-1, 3-0-0) got the only goal of the match from sophomore Mikaela Symanovich, with the assist coming from her
senior junior sister Nicolette.
After a long through ball from a midfielder, Nicolette tracked the ball down on the left wing and sent a crossing pass to Mikaela in front of the net. The sophomore tucked the ball into the corner of the net to put University up in the 39th minute.
“Well, I definitely like playing with her,” Mikaela said of her sister. “We communicate well and we understand each other, especially because we are sisters. It’s nice to collaborate with her on the field and celebrate with her.”
The Tigers (2-4-2, 2-2-1) managed a late second-half surge and had a corner kick in the final minute of the game, but University defender Kaiza Molina booted the ball toward midfield to end the threat.
The University defense only allowed five shots on goal and the Red Devils took 14 of their own, including eight in the first half.
“Same old story all season long for us. We don’t compete in the first half and allow a late goal,” said Lick head coach Gavin Birmingham. “Once we figure out that a game is 80 minutes long and not 40 minutes we will win games.”
The Tigers are dealing with injuries and sickness, however, and four of their 18 players were held out from the game on Wednesday. Senior Katie Waters, who normally starts at goalkeeper, was held out after being sick for the previous couple of days. Emma Wexler replaced Waters in net and had 13 saves.
“I think that the score today is really a reflection of how difficult Lick is to play against. Their goalie had a comfortable game and we had a hard time breaking them,” said University head coach Deejae Johnson. “We had a lot of shots, but they were not high-quality shots. They outworked us in the second half and we need to match that in the future.”
The Red Devils, who will look to defend their league title from a year ago, now stand alone in first place, with Lick and Urban close behind.
“We deserved all of those wins, but there is still a lot to improve on,” Mikaela said. “Some of the games have been closer than we like and we need to continue to work hard and work off of the wins that we get.”