By GERARDO RECINOS
A mass substitution of 11 players doesn’t usually happen unless something has gone terribly wrong. Or in the case of Alhambra, terribly right.
For the second year in a row the Alhambra girls soccer team has put up a nine-goal outburst against De Anza. This year however the also managed to cling to the clean sheet in their 9-0 home opener win.
With only two games played this season, the Bulldog girls have already scored 15 goals, and it could easily have been more.
In the first 20 minutes De Anza hardly had a sniff of possession. If they did the back line of Alhambra lead by senior captain Sarah Emigh would win the ball back and turn a brief defensive spell back into possession.
Play ran almost exclusively through the right side of the field early on. Junior Marisa D’Atri, fresh from a State Meet appearance in cross country, caused havoc. She opened scoring on a mistake by the De Anza keeper, but her highlight of the night was the pass she played into the box only two minutes later.
D’Atri swung a brilliant cross to the back post that was turned in by a bullet header by senior Lindsey Alford at the back post.
Despite the opponent’s best efforts, the Bulldogs scored three more times before Ed Marinelli called off the Dogs. Julia Perez slipped in Carly Agostino for the third, before the junior midfielder returned the favor two minutes later.
Perez also had a hand in the fifth goal, playing a key pass to Alford on the left-hand flank before some nifty passing lead to a smart strike by Emigh. The Chico State commits willingness to get forward truly highlighted her ability in the middle of the park despite playing in defense.
The Bulldogs scored once more before the half with a team full of substitutes trying to make their mark in a roster that currently sits at 23 girls.
That same team came out and controlled the second half, but did absorb some pressure from the Dons. Junior goalkeeper Becca Longeran was forced into a kick save in the 53rd minute, the only shot on target of the evening by De Anza.
Sophomore Jadyn London was credit with a goal after the half-chance from the Bulldogs, although the shot was turned in by a De Anza defender.
As soon as the starters returned to the pitch, the Bulldogs scored two more times to tie last seasons scoring record. Jaycee Armosino’s smooth left-footed finish across goal put the finishing touches on an already perfect performance.
Alhambra’s girls will go on the road twice next week to Alameda and Northgate before hosting Novato at home on Dec. 5 in their next home game.