By Josh Levine
With a 4-0 win over second-seeded Bay School on Thursday night at Kezar Stadium, top-seeded International won the Bay Counties League Central girls soccer championship for the third year in a row.
The Jaguars (18-1-3, 13-0-0) have not lost a league game in those three years and only allowed two goals in league play this season. The streak will end, however, as the Jaguars will move to the Bay Counties League West next season.
“After these years, our team knows each other better and they want to play together,” said International head coach Carlos Bover. “Our first half was good. We created a lot of chances, but the Bay defense was really good.”
Bay head coach Rusty Taylor, an assistant on Bover’s International team last season, was impressed with the play of his girls despite the loss.
“I’m very happy with the effort because the girls played hard,” Taylor said. “[International is] a very good team. I do think the game was a little closer than the score indicates, but congratulations to them. They’re going to be a high seed in [the North Coast Section playoffs] and have had one hell of a year.”
Despite taking 14 first-half shots, 10 of which were on net, the Jaguars were only able to poke one through on a pass from Talia Cioth to Chantal Paine, who sent the ball into the top corner of the net. Many other opportunities came up for the Jaguars, but the Breakers defense deflected several away from the net.
“The first half, outside of maybe the first half we played against Gateway last week, was the best half we’ve played all year,” Taylor said. “We worked well out there and we marked well, and kept them from scoring.”
The remaining goals came in the second half, including two strikes from Leonor Gaillard and another from Clara Hancock.
Despite the loss, and with the new leadership of Taylor, the Breakers (8-5-1) are looking to continue improving. Taylor also coached at University for 25 years before joining the coaching staff at International.
“I really hope the program keeps improving,” Taylor said. “We did well out there and being here today was a highlight for us. We had a lot of fun and I’m very happy of the effort the girls put out there. We kept our shape out there and we were organized on defense.”