Santiago girls soccer team beats Roosevelt, inches closer to Big VIII League title – Press Enterprise

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EASTVALE — For two teams that have been scoring in bunches lately, one goal was enough Wednesday night.

Senior midfielder Brianna Garcia pounced on a rebound late in the first half, as the Santiago girls soccer team staked its claim on another Big VIII League title with a 1-0 victory at Roosevelt.

“We told the girls, ‘Match the energy, control the space and let’s not get out of what we do in terms of what makes us successful,” Santiago coach Mike Fleming said.

Junior goalkeeper Abigail Turnley made two saves to earn her fifth consecutive shutout as Santiago (15-2-2 overall, 7-0-0 Big VIII) moved within one victory of a fifth consecutive league championship.

“We just stick to our principles and keep our composure because Roosevelt is one of those teams that can counter you in a hurry,” Fleming said.

Sophomore midfielder Ireland Churchill (18 goals this season) was held to a single shot on target for Roosevelt (15-4-1, 5-2-0), which had its four-match winning streak snapped.

“She been one of our focal points and when she’s been on it’s been great,” Roosevelt coach Andrew Tillehkooh said.

Coming off a 4-1 win over King in its last match, Roosevelt played with confidence and created a pair of scoring opportunities in the first 20 minutes. Churchill produced the Mustangs’ best chance in the 16th minute with a well-struck shot on target that Turnley pushed into the air before making the catch.

“I think the desire was there for us but the execution was a bit off,” Tillehkooh said. “That’s probably a little bit of us, but also give credit to them (the Sharks).”

Santiago senior midfielder Krystal Medina started to see more of the ball and the tempo changed quickly.

Medina and senior forward Bri Norman took shots – with Norman hitting the frame of the goal – before a foul just outside the corner of the penalty area created a set piece opportunity from a free kick.

Sophomore defender Abbie Kelly lofted the ball to the back post where it was headed down into the mixer in front of Roosevelt senior goalkeeper Reylena Wilson. After bouncing around for a moment, Garcia got her foot through the ball just well enough to send it into the back of the net.

“We’re finding ways to manage pressure, manage expectations, play freely and play one game at a time,” Fleming said. “A big part of that is all the seniors and all the experience we have.”

It was the 28th goal in league play this season for Santiago, which has 17 seniors on its roster this season.

The Sharks, ranked 10th nationally, are undefeated in 2024 and unbeaten across their last eight matches.

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