Prep Soccer: Cougars blank North Salinas

TENNIS: Alisal sweeps doubles play in 5-2 win over Christopher

GILROY—North Salinas had no answer for Jamie Boutee.
By halftime of Christopher’s home opener Monday the junior had already recorded a hat trick. She found the back of the net in three very different ways, helping her team to a 7-0 shutout win over the Vikings.
Boutee drew first blood, blasting the ball to the far corner in the 11th minute off a pass from Zidant Okere. Boutee struck again just moments later, but this time she was all alone. She poked in a shot to the near corner to improve Christopher’s lead to 2-0.
Paulina Llamas, who missed a majority of last season due to a torn ACL, looked to be back in full form and attacked the North Salinas net with six shots on goal in the game. Her first came in the seventh minute off a perfect pass from Calysta Tyree, but just grazed the top of the net. 
Llamas had chances again in the 13th and 15th minutes, but was finally able to put the bread in the basket in the 28th minute on a cross to the far corner to put the Cougars up 3-0.
“I thought today we took some more chances on moving the ball around,” CHS coach Robert Beardsley said. “I think Paulina Llamas is starting to feel a little bit better and that helps us out a lot.”
The Vikings did their best to limit Boutee, putting double coverage on her for the remainder of the first half. She finally broke through as the clock wound down and put the ball just out of the reach of North Salinas netminder Julia Ruiz to put her team up 4-0 at the half.
“I think we’re improving a lot as a unit. We’re working on our passes and talking—just all around improving,” Boutee said. “I was just trying to get in as many goals as I could. Everybody was communicating a lot better which helps.”
The Cougars were just as aggressive in the second half.
Just four minutes into the second, Okere raced down the field and juked past multiple defenders to go one-on-one with Ruiz. She sent the ball sailing into the far corner to improve Christopher’s lead to 5-0.
Llamas, Okere and Tyree hammered North Salinas with four shots on goal in an eight-minute span. Okere looked to have goal No.2 in the 56th minute, but watched the ball bounce back out. Thankfully for Christopher, Katherine Rios was there to pick up the rebound to score her first goal on varsity.
“Our passes were great. We were working well together moving the ball around and having shots on goal,” Rios said. “I just wanted to get it in. I saw it and I put it in.”
Tyree was stellar in the midfield for Christopher and helped limit the Vikings’ scoring opportunities. It was only Tyree’s second game back after missing her sophomore season and she made her presence known. She had two close shots on goal and was finally able to score in the 67th minute—but not putting Cougar fans on the edges of their seats.
Tyree shot the ball to the right post and it echoed as it bounced off. Just as the Vikings were breathing a sigh of relief, the ball bounced back in and rolled into the back of the net for Christopher’s final score of the game.
“It felt amazing; I wanted to score so badly,” Tyree said. “I was trying and I finally got it in. It was an amazing moment.”
The Cougars’ defense didn’t allow the Vikings (1-2-1) many chances, but were there to stop anything that came their way. Goalie Isabelle Jimenez faced only three shots on goal, the most dangerous of which came in the 32nd minute. North Salinas’ Daisy Ruiz took a shot at Jimenez, who immediately scooped it up but couldn’t keep her grip on the ball. Fortunately for the Cougars, Jimenez recovered and made the save before the Vikings could pick up the rebound.
Jimenez took her turn on offense with just 14 minutes left to play and Isabelle Medina took over for her in net. Medina’s only miscue came in the 70th when she came out too far to meet an oncoming North Salinas striker, but Diana Jasso was there to keep the ball out of the net and shutdown the Vikings’ attack.
It was Christopher’s first game on their new turf field and the change was evident. Being one of only two teams in their league without a turf field last season—the other being San Benito—put the Cougars at a disadvantage, Beardsley said. Now, instead of taking 15 to 20 minutes to adjust to the turf surface, he said the team is able to get into the game right out of the gate.
“There’s no words to explain how amazing it is,” Tyree added of the turf. “We can just develop as a soccer program—both boys and girls. We can develop and compete with the bigger and more competitive schools. It just helps us get better.”
Christopher (2-0) will be back in action at 5:45 p.m. Wednesday at Live Oak. Overall, Beardsley said he was happy with his team’s performance and said he hopes to see more of the same as the season continues.
“They hustled and worked hard and they are communicating a lot better,” he said. “They’re becoming comfortable with each and that’s a big thing. Confidence is huge.”


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