Middletown (3-0 league, 7-3-1), the 11-time defending league champion, set the early tone and had the game well in hand by halftime with a 6-0 lead.
“The whole defense was really solid,” Middletown coach Lamont Kucer said. “They (Cardinals) didn’t have many chances. We mopped up pretty much everything they tried to do.”
Paige Astley drew the assignment for most of the game of covering Clear Lake’s best player and leading scorer on the season, senior Lexi Tejada.
Middletown had no shortage of scoring opportunities in either half, according to Kucer, who said his team needs to do a better job of finishing as the season progresses.
Kucer and Alves also had assists in the win while teammate Georgia Guerrero led the Mustangs with three assists.
Middletown received solid play from junior forward and outside-mid Emily Maccario, according to Kucer.
“She’s our most improved player,” Kucer said. “She’s really playing well right now and with a lot of confidence.”
Middletown faces a tough road test on Thursday when it plays on the artificial home surface of the St. Helena Saints at 5:30 p.m.
At Lower Lake, Kayla Zepada’s penalty kick midway through the second half snapped a 3-all tie and lifted the Lower Lake Trojans past the Willits Wolverines in NCL I action.
Lower Lake (1-2, 2-5) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first half on the strength of two Melissa Mendez goals only to watch Willits rally to tie the score. The Trojans then pushed ahead 3-2 on a Kimberly Bautista penalty kick before the Wolverines scored again to tie it at 3-3, the halftime score.
“We started off real strong,” Lower Lake coach Andrea Mahling said. “We scored in the first five minutes and scored again midway through the first half. It was up and down after that.”
Keeper Michaela Stone, who had 10 saves, and Nayeli Santana anchored a shutout performance by Lower Lake’s defense in the second half.
“She (Santana) had some great plays up the line,” said Mahling, who also praised the play of midfielders Mendez, Jaqueline Galvan and Anna Gutierrez.
At Upper Lake, sophomore scoring machine Karlee Zimmershied tallied five more goals and Mallory Henry scored twice as the Upper Lake Cougars pulled away in the second half to rout the Calistoga Wildcats, who were playing only their second game of the season.
Upper Lake (5-3) also received goals from freshmen Tristin Rhodes and Maddy Young. Harmony Bird picked up two assists.
Leading 3-1 at halftime, the Cougars unleashed a six-goal barrage on the Wildcats in the second half, including three by Zimmershied early in the half.
“That Credo game was kind of a wakeup call for the girls,” Upper Lake coach Daniella Santana said of a 6-1 loss to the Rohnert Park team on Friday in Upper Lake.
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