SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The St. Francis varsity soccer team jumped out to a 3-0 lead over Elk Grove and held on for a 3-2 win Wednesday night at Cristo Rey High School.
"I thought our combination play was great," said Head Coach Maryclaire Robinson. "The field got a little small in the attacking third so a lot of shots were deflected and we relied on the long entry pass to get us in behind. In the second half, we made some nice adjustments in terms of committing them deeper and playing a combination ball that we can manage. We got some really good chances and nice goals. I am pleased and the effort was good."
St. Francis got a first-half goal by Janae DeFazio off an assist by senior Elise Urkov to take a 1-0 lead at the break. It was the seventh goal of the season, tying for the team lead, while Urkov provided her fifth assist.
The Troubadours (9-1-3) got two goals within eight minutes in the first part of the second half. Senior Lindsey Porter connected for a 2-0 lead to record her fifth goal of the season. Junior Lindsey Piatanesi extended the lead to 3-0 assisted by Grace Barger (fifth assist) in the 65th minute.
"Grace Barger had open space and she hit it in and I got across the defender to get it in the back of the net," said Piatanesi, who is tied for the team lead with seven goals.
Piatanesi has scored six goals over the last five games for the Troubies, including five in the Tri-Valley Classic before the holidays.
"She has the forward mentality and she wants the ball and wants to get a shot off," said Robinson. "It has served her well. She has scored quite a few goals for us."
The 5-2, junior forward has made a big impact in her first season with the program.
"It feels really good," said Piatanesi. "It is definitely a different environment compared to club. I love all the girls and it is so good to play with people you really like. It is so much easier to create a bond and the comradery between all the girls is super nice."
Elk Grove (2-5, 0-3 DL) fought back to score two goals in the 70th and 76th minutes of the second half to give St. Francis some points of emphasis after the game.
"We lacked some disciple and it is a good lesson to take into Davis," said Robinson. "We are coming off break and they had a nice rally."
St. Francis travels to play at Davis on Friday at 5:00 p.m. The Blue Devils are 8-0 on the season, including a 3-0 mark in league play, and enter the game ranked 10th in the nation according to MaxPreps and fourth in the state of California.
"Friday is going to be really exciting," said Piatanesi. "I hope we show up and play to their level."
St. Francis 3, Elk Grove 2
SF – DeFazio, Porter, Piatanesi.