By ALLIE COLOSKY, PRESS DEMOCRAT
CN 2, Santa Rosa 1.
Cardinal Newman held off Santa Rosa, 2-1, in a North Bay League match Thursday night at Santa Rosa.
“After the first 15 minutes of the game, I thought they were the better team,” Cardinals coach Paul Dixon said. “They deserved something out of the deal.”
Cardinals forward Megan Moore scored two more goals in the first 10 minutes to bring her team-leading total to 12 this season.
Moore’s first goal came in the opening minutes. A cross from Katrina Cline found Moore’s foot and ricocheted into the top left corner of the net.
The sophomore’s second goal came 6 minutes later, when she settled a ball out in the box and sent it sailing into the back of the net.
“Defense passes the ball well and we need to start holding the ball more and playing off that,” Moore said.
The Cardinals packed in defensively with senior captain Jackie Dutton the anchor in the middle. But Santa Rosa gained momentum and consistently pressured the Cardinals’ defense.
“We were really just trying to stay tight on our marks and not let them get a shot off,” Dutton said.
The Panthers continued to push the ball at the end of the first half but could not convert.
Quincy Barnett sent a header from teammate Melani Avalos over the crossbar, and Maddie Batchelder had a hard shot on goal but failed to capitalize.
Santa Rosa continued to put pressure on Cardinal Newman’s defense in the second half.
The Panthers played a dangerous ball into the Cardinals box off a free kick in the 55th minute but again didn’t score.
The Cardinals defense attempted to keep the ball out of the its half of the field, but kept “getting pounded left and right,” Dutton said.
Finally, the Panthers found the back of the net in the 68th minute when Laetitizi Hernandez chased down a long ball over the middle and sent it solidly past Cardinals goalkeeper Gabby Singler.
“She’s just one of those players that sets fire,” Panthers coach Nikki Kumasaka said of Hernandez. “We needed a spark up there and that’s exactly what she did.”
Santa Rosa continued to press for the equalizer but was denied as the clock ran out.
Santa Rosa fell to 5-4 overall. Cardinal Newman improved to 5-1.
“We were fortunate to come away with the win,” Dixon said.
Men's Varsity Waterpolo
CN 14, Sonoma 7. Multiple players contributed to the scoreboard with Jack Stafford scoring six goals, Zach Peterson scoring four goals, Nick Uebel scoring three goals, and Joey Frazier one goal. The defensive effort was strong with Nick Price, Max Bielen, Joey Frazier, and Jack Stafford all drawing one steal. Brock Bauer tallied a career-high 18 blocks in the goal. The entire roster played and contributed to the victory.
Women's Varsity Waterpolo
AT SONOMA VALLEY
Cardinal Newman 6, Sonoma Valley 6
CN: Addison Edgar 2, Sarah Meder-Neumann 2, Gabriella Edman, Ashton Smith.
Notable: Cardinals goal keeper Phoebe Sheahan had 27 saves.
Record: CN 1-6-1
Tuesday, September 17
Women's Varsity Golf
AT OAKMONT WEST – Par 36
Cardinal Newman 262, Windsor 272
CN: Megan McConnell 37, Emily Pham 51, Taylor Foster 53, Angela Chang 54, Lexi Allen 67.
W: Ashley Llamas 49, Emily Hoey 51, Natalie Smith 54, Anna Kelley 59, Megan Buckman 59.
Record: CN 4-1
Men's Varsity Soccer
AT CARDINAL NEWMAN
Santa Rosa 1 3 - 4
Cardinal Newman 2 0 - 2
CN: Alex Roeser, Brandon Bone; Assists: CN: Tyler Farrar
Notable: Santa Rosa rallied from a 2-0 first half deficit and had two penalty kick for goals in the second half
Record: CN 2-2-1, 0-1
Saturday, September 14
CN 7, El Cerrito 35. Pushing to gain a measure of momentum, Cardinal Newman could not hold back El Cerrito in a decisive third quarter, and the much-anticipated contest slipped away.
The season’s first defeat for Cardinal Newman was not as one-sided as the 35-7 score would indicate. Saturday night’s game was even on the scoreboard at the half, but the Gauchos wore down the Cardinals’ determined defense.
With two weeks until their next game, Cardinal Newman will use the loss as a teaching moment to improve as both players and a team.
“We’ve got to get better. We just have to go back on the field and focus,” said receiver and defensive back Kevin Lucey. “Hopefully we can grow from this.”
One of the Bay Area’s featured prep football games of the week, the contest matched teams that reached the North Coast Section semifinals a year ago.
El Cerrito figured as the favorite, returning a handful of athletic players headed for major college programs. Still, the Gauchos respected Cardinal Newman as one of the region’s top teams.
“Their offense was good. And their defense, I tip my hat off to them. They bend but don’t break,” El Cerrito quarterback Keilan Benjamin said.
Despite a more than two-to-one advantage in first half plays, El Cerrito could not take control of the game.
Following a deep El Cerrito drive that resulted in a missed field goal, Cardinal Newman answered with a first down and then the game’s longest play. Keaton Dunsford threw a strike to Lucey over the middle and the receiver sprinted much of the way for the 68-yard score.
Answering early in the second quarter, El Cerrito went 80 yards in five plays. James Houston’s longest run evened the score with the power back going 23 yards on a pitch.
Each team would have two more drives in the half. An El Cerrito penalty wiped out the go-ahead score on what would have been a highlight-reel touchdown pass to Jalen Harvey.
A three-and-out Cardinal Newman series to open the second half would not bode well for the home team.
On the third play of the next drive, Benjamin connected with Harvey over the middle and he streaked to the end zone. El Cerrito would not look back.
Despite fumbling on the kickoff, Cardinal Newman came up with another big play with the game in the balance when Kasey Mansen made a diving interception in the end zone.
Dunsford and Lucey hooked up on a pair of long third-down pass plays to carry the Cardinals into scoring range. But the Gauchos’ pass defense stiffened.
On the field-goal attempt, Adarius Pickett crashed through the line. After blocking the kick, Pickett scooped up the ball and ran untouched 67 yards for the score.
While more than a quarter remained to be played, Cardinal Newman would not threaten again. The Cardinals did not gain a first down on three more possessions.
“We were in this game,” Lucey said. “We gave it our all and sometimes it doesn’t work out.”
Going into the game, Cardinal Newman was finding its rhythm in nonleague play with many first-year starters. El Cerrito was seeking a higher gear with a skilled and experienced squad.
El Cerrito sought the game to improve its resume for a possible state bowl berth.
“We wanted to spruce up our preseason. And Cardinal Newman is a team we could see in the playoffs,” El Cerrito coach Kenny Kahn said.
Cardinal Newman looked forward to hosting the Gauchos as a measuring stick of where the Cardinals are in Week 3 of the season.
“You can see where you’re at against a team like this that’s so loaded,” Newman coach Paul Cronin said.
Friday, September 13
Women's Varsity Soccer
AT CARDINAL NEWMAN