By News-Register staff • 

Dayton girls’ soccer team tops Taft

TAFT – The Pirates girls’ soccer team solidified their grasp on second-place in the Class 3A/2A/1A Special District 3 after outmatching Taft 4-0 last Tuesday. Dayton (7-1, 7-4) is one game back of league-leading Blanchet Catholic and two games ahead of third-place Western Mennonite. With only four games remaining, head coach Pat Myer’s squad is likely to qualify for the playoffs.

Against Taft, Dayton scored an early 15th minute goal to put them up 1-0. Star forward Lynsey Katzler blistered a shot on goal that was saved, but April Anguiano was there to clean up the rebound. The rest of the first half was a tight battle of possession, with shots on goal evenly distributed between the teams.

A lengthy discussion at halftime by the players, who were upset with their first-half play, resulted in a powerful effort in the final 40 minutes.

Dominating the possession, Dayton whipped in dangerous crosses. It was only a matter of time before the Pirates converted. Katzler opened her account on a cross by Yasmin Arenas early in the second half. Then, a perfectly placed corner kick by Casey Spivey found the head of Katzler at the far post. With Dayton up 3-0, the final score of the day resulted from a beautiful cross by Nancy Arroyo to Anguiano, who scored a header of her own.

The defense, led by keeper Adrianna Garcia, posted its fifth shutout of the season. Constant pressure by the defense forced poor shots from the Tigers. Dayton now allowed only 15 goals, an impressive feat in 11 games played.

A crucial league battle will be next for the Pirates. On Wednesday, they will host first-place Blanchet Catholic, with a league title possibly on the line. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.