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Folsom controls Davis, wins 2-0

Lady Bulldogs face St. Mary's on Thursday
By: Brett Ransford/Telegraph Correspondent
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Hardly a Cinderella story, Folsom?s return to Division I girls? soccer glory turned its latest page on Tuesday. The Bulldogs defeated defending Sac-Joaquin Section DI champion Davis, 2-0, at Prairie City Stadium in Folsom and advanced to a semi-final match against St. Mary?s of Stockton on Thursday ? a match between two of the three best teams in California and the top-50 in the country. Goals from Alyssa Jara and McCall Madriago were scored in the first 10 minutes of each half. The rest was defense. Led by senior and future Notre Dame player Anna Maria Gilbertson, Davis didn?t look like much of a defending section champ in comparison to an all-out Folsom game. A back line featuring Sierra DelFrate, Savannah Schultz, captain MacKenzie Moreno and Allison Horn kept Davis scoreless, while shutting down, Gilbert, the No. 30 nationally-ranked prospect, according to ESPNHS Girls? Soccer rankings. Moreno and Jara were with the Folsom team which lost 1-0 at Davis two years ago in playoffs. The defensive captain didn?t have revenge anywhere on her mind, though. ?It doesn?t feel like revenge, because our roster has a lot of depth and we really stepped it up this year,? Moreno said. ?We started the season rough, but we?ve really battled it out. Without those girls [DelFrate, Schultz, Horn] we wouldn?t be here.? After the game, Davis Coach Sara Stone said her team played a disappointingly flat style. Led by Jara, an All-City selection, the Bulldogs were anything but flat. Jara put Folsom ahead with a left-footed finish in the 8th minute. She and Gilbertson were both selected to the Sacramento River Cats All-City girls? soccer team this season. ?We are so excited,? Jara said about her team advancing. ?Even my goal, I couldn?t believe it went in. I normally don?t shoot with my left foot, but it just brought more intensity to our team?s effort. So we?ll prepare tomorrow for Thursday and see how it goes.? It?s gone better than the team imagined, so far for Folsom. Coach Mike McBride said expectations haven?t been worth much in matches between Folsom and Davis in the past, save for an intense 80 minutes either way. He said the same looking ahead at St. Mary?s. Two Folsom goalkeepers combined in the scoreless effort. Among few 40-yard strikes by Gilbertson was little chance at challenging Folsom goalkeeper Ashley Hallums in the first half. Senior goalie Allison Hart made consecutive saves on corner kicks through the 65th minute, holding on to the shutout. Midfielders Caitlyn Kretzschmar and Paige Harrison were all over the place. Kretzschmar assisted Madriago in the 45th and helped Jara receive her goal with an effort inside the Davis 18-yard box. Harrison, meanwhile, was often the thorn in Gilbertson?s side. ?We?re a really solid team and when we play our game and play together, we can beat any team on any given day,? Kretzschmar said. That?s exactly what this team has done all season ? still unbeaten with a 15-0-3 record. MaxPreps ranked Folsom No.9 nationally, prior to the win over Davis. ESPNHS recently added Folsom to its Powerade Fab 50 Rankings at No. 49 nationally. Folsom ranks third nationally, among California teams. St. Mary?s is the top-ranked California squad at No.12 nationally. The Rams lead the 2012 DI postseason with nine goals scored in two matches. They beat Lincoln 6-0 and Enochs 3-2. Folsom hasn?t been scored on yet this postseason. The last goal scored on Folsom was by Vista del Lago in the Crosstown Cup, April 20, and league opponent St. Francis on April 18. St. Mary?s was a runner up to St. Francis in 2009, losing 3-1. They?ve been runners-up four times since 2004, but haven?t won the section since 2001. Folsom was a runner up to Del Campo in 1996 and hasn?t been back to the title game since. The two teams last played each other in 2008 in Stockton, an exhibition match and a 1-1 tie. Folsom owns the only victory in the last decade, beating St. Mary?s 1-0 in 2007 in Folsom. St. Mary?s is ranked No.5 nationally according to both the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, which has Folsom unranked, and MaxPreps. A win over St. Mary?s would certainly turn the few heads which haven?t already taken notice of Folsom ? yet. Match time for Thursday?s semi-final meeting between Folsom (No.1 Delta River League) and St. Mary?s (No.1 Tri-City Athletic League) will be announced by the CIF section.