If defense wins championships, the Redwood girls soccer team appears primed to make a run at a West Yosemite League title and a Central Section Division II title.
The Rangers' stingy defense was on full display in a nonleague soccer match against Central Valley Christian on Friday night.
The Rangers relied on their team speed to shut down CVC and held on for a 1-0 victory at the CVC soccer field.
"The two center backs are Ellie Linan and Ashlee DeMascio," Redwood coach Jason Vieira said. "They're both seniors and they both were phenomenal. The thing about CVC is they're big and fast and they're all healthy now, it seemed like. I challenged DeMascio to step it up and be that defense we know we have. And today they were phenomenal."
The Redwood defense did its job to shut out the Cavaliers, and the offense did just enough to secure the victory.
In the 13th minute, senior Monique Sanchez took a shot from the left wing and got it past the CVC goalkeeper and into the back of the net for the only score of the game. She was assisted by Maddy Messier.
"She plays on the left wing, but is a natural right footer," Vieira said about Sanchez. "When we get her on the field, we maximize our talent. To her credit, she never complains about playing on the left side. She does a fantastic job."
CVC had a couple of scoring chances, but could not break through.
Cavaliers coach Jacob De Groot said his team's goal for the week was to get to .500. They won their first two Central Sequoia League matches earlier in the week, but could not complete the trifecta.
The loss dropped them to 5-7-2 on the season.
It hasn't been the ideal start the Cavaliers would have liked, but De Groot is optimistic about the rest of the season.
Senior Nicole Bouvia, who was the Times-Delta/Advance-Register Tulare County player of the year as a sophomore, has been sidelined with an ankle injury, but she is back on the pitch and playing.
"We're taking it game by game, really," De Groot said. "Our goal was to get to .500 and Redwood put a stop to that. We came close, but that's a good team. I'm happy. We're coming together nicely. I hope to hold it together for league."
CVC will host Dinuba and Exeter in CSL games next week.
The Rangers, which improved to 13-4-1 overall, are 4-1 in West Yosemite League play. They host Mt. Whitney and Hanford next week in key games. Both the Pioneers and Bullpups are also 4-1 in the WYL.
Farmersville 6, Oran ge Cove 1: The Aztecs opened the East Sierra League season with a victory over the Titans.
Freddy Vazquez led the way with a four-goal performance as the Aztecs began defense of their league title with a victory.
Moises Hernandez and German Gutierrez also scored one goal.
Ramon Franco set up half the team's goals with three assists, and goalkeeper Ruben Valencia had six saves.
The Aztecs (12-3-1, 1-0) have a busy week on tap with home games against McFarland and Lindsay, and a road game at Orosi. McFarland and Orosi are league games. The game against Lindsay is the first half of the Champions Cup series.
Mission Oak 81, CVC 41: The Hawks raced out to a 47-15 halftime lead en route to a nonleague win over the Cavaliers in Visalia.
Blake Shannon scored a game-high 24 points for Mission Oak (13-3). Bobby Alvarado added 18 points, and Kollan Mundley scored 15.
Austin Moons finished with 10 points for CVC (6-10), and Josh Payne, Trevor Dodge and Craig Kampen each added six points.
Dinuba 49, Monache 38: Ernesto Ruiz scored 24 points and the Emperors defeated the Marauders in a nonleague game in Dinuba.
Aaron Taylor added nine points and Javier Celestino chipped in with seven points for Dinuba (14-2).
Dinuba outscored Monache 18-6 in the fourth quarter to pull away for the victory.
Monache (6-7) was led by Adam Kittrell's seven points.
Exeter 46, Lindsay 40: Caleb Harden scored 18 points and the Monarchs defeated the Cardinals in a nonleague game.
Eli Garver added nine points for Exeter (13-2), and Jordan Bayne scored eight.
Exeter outscored Lindsay 14-4 in the fourth quarter.
Gavin Mann led Lindsay (10-6) with 17 points. Jacob Hernandez added 12 points, and Jeff See chipped in with seven points for the Cardinals.