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June 9, 2023

Pfefferlen puts Sobrato soccer on cusp of history

Emily Pfefferlen’s goal lifted Sobrato over King’s Academy and into the final round with a 1-0 win Wednesday evening.
Sobrato will take on Presentation 10 a.m. Saturday at Valley Christian in a bid for the girls soccer team’s first CCS title in school history. The Bulldogs have never won a team CCS title since the school’s inception in 2004. There have been three individuals to win CCS titles.
Pfefferlen got possession of the ball near midfield in the 54th minute after King’s Academy failed to clear the ball. With three defenders between her and the goal, she dribbled towards them and cut right, near the 18-yard box, and took a zooming shot that rushed past the goalie and into the net.
“I just kind of ran onto a through ball then just cut the last defender and just kicked it as hard as I could into the goal,” Pfefferlen said.
Pfefferlen had warned the Knights of her goal instinct in the fourth minute when she beat a defender to a through ball and her shot went just wide across the goal. Kayla Morales was accompanying the play and was a few steps back of being able to push the ball into the net near the right post.
 “We basically knew it was going to be one of those who ever puts on in first type game,” Sobrato coach Jason Carreras said. “But I’m very excited the way my girls played. Their preparation and focus was the key to this win tonight for sure.”
The closest scoring opportunity for the Bulldogs came in the 10th minute when Morales crossed the ball inside the 18-yard box to Megan Rottenborn who kicked the ball near the 6-yard box towards the goal, but out of nowhere the Knight’s goalie Kelci Kimbel dove to her right to send the ball to the sidelines.
Coach Carreras said they were looking to take an early lead to get the big Knights’ fan out of the game so it was difficult to go into the half scoreless with all the opportunities they created early.
“The most impressive part of it is that they played until the (final) whistle and we were able to get one and pull away with the win,” coach Carreras said.
King’s Academy’s Ella Cole had a similar opportunity Rottenborn had to put the Knights on the lead in the 50th minute. Right midfielder Julianna Silkwood, the playmaker for the Knights, took on two defenders and got near the goal line to cross the ball to Cole who tried to tap the ball into the open net, but mistimed the ball and her shot slowly rolled to the left of the goal until Sobrato’s goalie Sarah Somavia jump on the ball.
Coach Carreras pointed out the job Jessica Gonzalez, began as left midfielder and finished right midfielder, and Kiana Ton, Left defender, did to contain Silkwood on the wing.
“She (Silkwood) is a very crafty player on that wing and she gets in behind the defense…,” coach Carreras said. “Ton and Gonzalez did a great job kind of tag teaming, being a great defensive duo against number 18 (Silkwood).
Silkwood had two shots on goal that went wide and tried to use the sideline lane to create opportunities for her teammates.
Somavia had only two saves in the game; one off a corner in the first half and the other came off a long range shot when King’s Academy was beginning to feel the pressure of the clock running out.
“We just have a really strong defense and they always just communicate well and have good spacing and just always know what to do to shut down the girls the they really need to shut down,” Pfefferlen said.
Sobrato outshot the Knights nine to six allowing King’s Academy’s Kimbel to rack up four saves.
“We’ve been battling all season long,” coach Carreras said. “We know Presentation is going to be a tough matchup in the finals, but all in all if we stick to our game plan and play top level soccer like we’ve been doing we’ll be fine.”

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