SOQUEL — Nothing was going to rain on the Aptos High Mariners' Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League unbeaten streak.
Aptos soaked the host Soquel High Knights, 3-0, on a wet and rainy Tuesday evening in Soquel to bring their SCCAL unbeaten streak to 30 games.
The Mariners (5-2-1, 2-0) jumped to an early lead on a goal from sophomore forward Haley Veldhuis in the game's 19th minute.
It was all Aptos needed.
As the wind intensified, the Mariners' defense clamped down and shut out the Knights (5-5, 2-1), holding them to a handful of shots throughout the game.
"Soquel is a really good team. They played really tough until the last minute of the game," said Aptos head coach Jessica Perkin.
Mariners' sophomore goalkeeper Caroline Miller anchored the defense and played the role of a young leader, helping Aptos stay organized.
Junior defenders Grace Rothman and Mary McGinn walled in Soquel's offense, squeezing out the possibility of stopping the Mariners' lengthy SCCAL unbeaten streak.
Shortly before the half, Aptos went ahead 2-0 on a header by junior midfielder/forward Paige Dueck. They would pull ahead 3-0 early in the second half off the leg of Maya Pruett.
Before the game, both Aptos and Soquel High remained unbeaten in the SCCAL and the Knights were the top contenders to knock off the three-time defending league champs after beating Scotts Valley High, 2-0, last week.
At the end of the night, Aptos remained unscathed and was seemingly on its way to a fourth SCCAL title.
Both teams contended with a steady, pelting rain and high winds which affected the flight of the ball.
"The wind was going at us and they did a good job of getting out so we could play our attacking game," Perkin said.
Off the field, players and spectators alike hunkered down against the weather, clinging to umbrellas and thick hooded jackets against the bitter cold.
"This is crazy. In seven years this is probably my biggest game against the elements," Perkin said.
The Mariners will seek to push their unbeaten streak to 31 games on Thursday as they host the St. Francis Sharks on Thursday at home.
The Knights clash with Harbor High on Thursday as they go for their third league win.
Editor’s note: Bryce Stoepfel is a Cabrillo College student intern working at the Register-Pajaronian through the Pat and Rowland Rebele fund.For the complete article see the 01-12-2017 issue.
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