The Lowell girls’ soccer team had rolled to a perfect league record and wanted another way to validate what it had accomplished.
University was that test, and the Cardinals did not disappoint.
Alejandra Sanchez and Zoe Charter-Kuo scored two goals apiece as Lowell rolled to the 4-0 nonleague win over University on Monday night.
“You could just see it in the girls’ eyes,” Lowell coach Marcos Estebez said. “They wanted to just sit here and enjoy the moment. You don’t really know who you are or what you are until you play the more competitive teams and that’s what they’re feeling so good about.”
The Cardinals (17-2-1) have not allowed a goal since March 16 against Lick-Wilmerding, a stretch of 15 straight matches.
“It is a testament to them and they played really well today,” Estebez said. “It was amazing how well they were rotating, they were covering for each other.”
Lowell pressured University (10-4-3) early and had three good looks at the goal but could not capitalize.
The drought didn’t last long.
Charter-Kuo got Lowell on the board in the ninth minute when she beat two defenders and scored from 25 yards out.
The Cardinals’ defense suffocated the University squad and did not allow a shot on goal until the 29th minute.
“The first thing is we got outplayed and you can’t show up and try to win a soccer game if you don’t compete in all facets of the game,” University coach Deejay Johnson said. “They out-hustled us. They out pressured us. Their finishing was better; their defending was better.”
Sanchez added to the Lowell lead with a shot from 15 yards out, giving the Cardinals a 2-0 lead.
University turned it around early in the second half and was able to get better looks at the goal but was still unable to get on the board.
“You’re always afraid when you’re playing with three forwards what you’re giving up in the middle,” Estebez said. “We haven’t played against a good team since we implemented this system of play. They had plenty of play in the middle and we were adjusting frantically and they absolutely controlled the second half.”
Lowell was able to loosen up University in the latter part of the second half and it was Charter-Kuo again to get Lowell on the board.
In the 70th minute, she dribbled past two defenders and drilled it past University goalie Karyll Davis from point blank range to give Lowell the commanding 3-0 lead.
Sanchez capped off the win in the 73rd minute with a looping goal just over the outstretched arms of Davis for her second of the night.
“It’s important to play quality teams and they show you where your weaknesses are and what you need to work on,” Estebez said. “It was a good opportunity to play a good team, to refine what we’ve been working on in terms of our attack and in terms of our play and quickly releasing the ball.”
Lowell heads into the Academic Athletic Association playoffs on May 2 where it will take on Galileo in the semifinals.</p>
University has three Bay Counties League West games remaining and will hit the field Wednesday against Lick-Wilmerding.
Preps sports coverage provided in partnership by The San Francisco Examiner and www.SanFranPreps.com