May 17, 2012
Franklin tops Turlock; will play for first girls section soccer title

It's a busy day today for Franklin senior Crystal Vega.

There is the 6 p.m. graduation at Power Balance Pavilion, then the post-grad party tonight at an area bowling alley.

But there was another piece of business to take care earlier this afternoon - helping her Franklin girls soccer team achieve history.

The Wildcats defeated Turlock 1-0 in the Sac-Joaquin Section semifinals to advance to their first championship finale.

Franklin (18-4-2) will play the winner of tonight's Folsom-St. Mary's game Saturday at either Cosumnes Oaks or Lincoln of Stockton.

Vega is the captain and one of only two seniors on a team that has grown up fast.

Franklin beat and tied perennial power and defending D-I champion Davis to win the Delta Valley Conference. In the playoffs, Franlin beat another perennial power, St. Francis, 2-1, and edged Vintage of Napa 5-4 on penalty kicks in Tuesday's quarterfinals.

Today's match, which started at 1 p.m. to accommodate the graduations of Vega and Ashley Matarelli, wasn't nearly as close as the score indicated.

Although junior Tatyana Garrett scored the game's only goal midway through the first half, the Wildcats dominated play against Turlock (4-4-5) with at least a half-dozen near misses on goal.

"That was a little frustrating," said Vega, who missed several close shots, including a blast that bounced off the far post. "But we played well. This was fun to be able to make a little bit of history for girls soccer at our school."

Franklin coach Eliseo Lopez enjoys watching his team play.

"I didn't think they were going to be this good because we are so young," said Lopez, in his eighth season as coach. "But they have chemistry, and they are hungry."

They also have depth.

Lopez' JV team went undefeated even though he elevated freshmen sensations Lauren Williams and Kyra Taylor to the varsity seven matches into the season.

Both made all-Delta Valley Conference, and Williams leads the team in scoring with 23 goals, although the forward wasn't in the lineup Thursday.

She was participating in a 5 versus 5 international tournament in Munich, Germany. But she's expected to fly back to Sacramento early Saturday morning.

"I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we'll have her for the championship," Lopez said. "But either way I think the girls are ready to show their talent."

About the Prep blog

Bee staff writers Joe Davidson and Bill Paterson provide news, analysis and insight on the area high school sports scene in their Prep Blog. Have a question to ask them? Send them an email any time at or

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