Knights vs. Mavericks: Three times the charm

For the third year in a row, Dartmouth and Rancho Viejo’s girls soccer teams meet in the finals. Dartmouth wins for the second year in a row, 1-nil

Photo by Chad Snyder/Dartmouth Middle School
The Lady Knights, and their Coach Blanca Hernandez, pose for a photo to celebrate back-to-back league titles Thursday.

■ By Corey Evan / Sports Reporter

When the championship is on the line, anything can happen and it usually does. The same girls’ soccer teams meeting for the finals three years in a row can certainly happen. Last Thursday between Dartmouth and Rancho Viejo Middle Schools, it did. Having won the Valley League title last year, it was up to Dartmouth to protect said title.
The first half of the game saw both teams move the ball, and both teams’ goalkeepers staying on the ball themselves. Only after the Mavericks’ goalkeeper let her guard down for a second did Annalisa Melindres bring in a goal for Dartmouth.
Despite valiant efforts by both teams to move the ball in the second half, the score didn’t move with it. This allowed Dartmouth to clench the league championship for the second year running. While it was a moral victory, the Lady Knights’ water boy gave Coach Blanca Hernandez a water cooler dousing, as is tradition.
While she was drip-drying, Hernandez talked about the prep work that led to back-to-back titles.

Photo by Chad Snyder/Dartmouth Middle School
Graduating players, left to right: Maxwell Lundgren, Elijah Necochea, Ethan Post, Brendon Tate, Cameron Leonard, Danny Gomez, Daniel Heffington and Lucas Doyle.

“We had our ups and downs… I don’t think we lost a game in league this year. We had the girls prepping, we worked on corner-kicks…direct kicks, lots of passing… Communication, that’s what we worked on more.”
Right now, Hernandez is up for renewal as the Knights’ coach. But if the school district is reading this, let us hope they consider her back-to-back championship record in their choice to renew or replace her.

On the other side of the Dartmouth campus in the gym, the boys volleyball team clenched the Valley League title with a 2 sets to 0 win over Monte Vista to take home the hardware for the second consecutive season. The boys were firing on all cylinders today against a very good Monte Vista squad. Congratulations to Coach Graham and his boys for an undefeated season.

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