May 18, 2013
Bella Vista tops Ponderosa 2-1 for first section title since 1988

Longtime Bella Vista girls coaches Christie Wheeler and Matt Contreras say they've been knocking at the door of a Sac-Joaquin Section girls soccer title for some time.
On Saturday, they booted the door wide open.

Behind goals from Sami Donovan and JV call-up Chelsea Allen, the Broncos defeated Ponderosa 2-1 in the Division II championship game at Cosumnes Oaks High School.

It was Bella Vista's first section girls title since winning three D-I titles in a row from 1986 to 1988. Three other times Bella Vista lost in a section title game, the last in 2007 to Rio Americano in D-III.

"We've been on the door for the last several years," Wheeler said. "How'd we open the door? Teamwork. We've been a real good passing team, we peaked at the right time and it was our time."

The last three years, Bella Vista lost in the semifinals, including a penalty kick loss to Granite Bay in 2011.

"They listened and bought into the system we have, and they play really good soccer," Contreras said. "They kind of mirrored the boys' season."

The Bella Vista boys, coached by Matt and Zach Contreras, won their second consecutive D-II title last fall. The boys were at Cosumnes Oaks Saturday rooting on their classmates.

Senior midfielders Julia Platter and Lisa Elledge and defender Madeleine Dyckes are the anchors.

The win didn't come easy. Bella Vista barely missed wide on a handful of attempts and Ponderosa had three corner kicks in the final few minutes. Freshman goalie Shannon Fuchs punched one away.

Ponderosa suffered a big loss 20 seconds into the match when captain Corine Tank suffered an apparent broken arm.

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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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