Preps

Wednesday, Feb 26 2014 10:32 PM

Garces girls soccer reaches D-II final again

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Garces' Claire Anspach takes control of the ball as Edison's Zoe Clevely comes to challenge her in their playoff game Wednesday night.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    The Graces girls' soccer team, including Megan Puget, comes out ready to play and have fun in their playoff game against Edison Wednesday night.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Garces' Alexis Goyeneche battles Edison's Madison Deffenbaugh in their playoff game. At left is Garces' Sophie Freeman.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Under a light rain, Garces' Claire Anspach battles Edison in their playoff game.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Garces' Claire Anspach battles through a group of Edison players during their playoff game Wednesday.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Garces soccer fans stay warm and dry during Garces playoff game against Edison.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Garces soccer fans stay dry as a light rain falls during Garces' playoff game against Edison Wednesday night.

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  8. 8 of 19

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    A little celebration is in order after Garces beat Edison in their playoff game.

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  9. 9 of 19

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Garces celebrates their playoff victory over Edison Wednesday night.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Garces' Madi Todd, right, gets congratulated by teammate Sophie Freeman after she scored the final goal for Garces in their playoff game against Edison Wednesday night.

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  11. 11 of 19

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Garces' Delaney Beck and Edison's Natalia Kane battle to control the ball in their Wednesday night game.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    A Garces shot gets past Edison's goalie and in the net in their Wednesday night playoff game.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Garces' Madi Todd and Edison's Zoe Clevely have their eyes on the ball in their Wednesday night playoff game.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Garces' Delaney Beck can't believe the call after Edison's Natalia Kane falls in their Wednesday game.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Garces' Delaney Beck takes control of the ball as Edison's Natalia Kane falls in their Wednesday game.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Garces' Megan Puget redirects the ball in their playoff game against Edison Wednesday night.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Garces' Erica Delgado and Edison's Natalia Kane battle for the ball in their Wednesday night playoff game.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Garces takes a 1-0 lead over Edison after Erica Delgado, second from left, scored a goal in their playoff game against Edison Wednesday night.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Garces Erica Delgado and Edison's Natalia Kane go up for a header in their playoff game Wednesday night. Delgado later scored Garces' first goal.

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BY ZACH EWING Californian staff writer zewing@bakersfield.com

Garces girls soccer coach Myka Peck admits she's hard to please, and that's especially true with a team that returns nine starters from last year's Division II Central Section championship team.

But she took a moment to praise her Rams on Wednesday, minutes after they had dismantled No. 3 seed Fresno-Edison 3-0 on Sam Tobias Field.

"The semifinals are hard," she said. "This is always a nerve-racking game, because you've got to get over that hump to get to the final. So you're always pleased with any kind of a win."

This one was tight for 35 minutes until Erica Delgado broke through for Garces (18-5) with a laser into the corner of the net from just outside the box with five minutes to go in the half.

"That kind of relieved the stress," Delgado said. "They were a good team, but we were able to settle down then."

Still, Edison (13-11-3) applied consistent pressure throughout the second half, even hitting the post with about 15 minutes remaining, until the Rams put the game away with back-to-back goals from Delgado -- on a set piece -- and Madison Todd, who put the exclamation point on the game with a curving shot that beat Edison goalkeeper Alyssa Flores with five minutes left.

"It was kind of a sloppy game," Peck said. "We didn't settle the ball well, and that gave us some problems."

Up next for Garces is a chance to defend its title Friday. To do so, the Rams will have to take down No. 1 seed Frontier on the road.

"We're doing everything we possibly can to win Valley," Todd said. "It'll be a great match."

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