Caroline Sullivan and Sara Thornburg scored two goals apiece, Polina Oglesby made a trio of clutch saves in the second half and Monte Vista Christian thumped St. Francis, 8-2, in a battle of Watsonville private schools Thursday evening.
"We communicated really well, which benefited us," Sullivan said. "Being able to connect to feet, switch the field and play as a whole, because we've had rough times where we haven't communicated, and it's brought us down. Today we really communicated and it helped us."
With the win, M.V.C. improved to 4-2-3 overall and 2-0-1 in Pacific Coast Athletic League Cypress division action.
St. Francis, meanwhile, fell to 1-2-1 overall and 0-2 in league play.
The Sharks took the early advantage on Devlyn Gomez’s goal, but the Mustangs fired back with Thornburg’s two goals and another from Shayna Lebovitz to take a 3-1 lead into the half.
St. Francis made things interesting in the opening minute of the second half, as Ashley Raich sliced the lead to one with her second goal of the season, but M.V.C. again responded with a flurry of quick scores off Sharks’ errors.
Sullivan scored a pair in the same minute to give the Mustangs some breathing room, and Madison Pullen, Amelia Camps-McCaffrey and Kailey Morrell all tacked on another score in the closing minutes.
"They just unleashed," said St. Francis first-year coach Chris Croghan. "It was no one person, they were just fast. They moved at a fast pace and we were letting them play up too high."
Oglesby finished with seven saves, including her three one-on-one stops — each drawing a loud roar from the mostly tepid crowd — in the second half to help the Mustangs pull away late.
"I've really been working on my confidence and coming out on the ball," Oglesby said. "I had some games before the break that were a bit sloppy, and I think I've cleaned things up and gotten more confident with myself."
M.V.C. will try to push its unbeaten streak to six games on Tuesday at home against Soledad.
St. Francis will try to bounce back on Tuesday at Pacific Grove.
• Aptos 82, Soledad 22 - Hannah Hocom (19), Gabby Giuffre (14), Natalia Ackerman (13) and Madison Stefanini (10) all scored in double figures for the Mariners in their preseason finale on Wednesday.
Jasmine Ackerman added seven points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals for Aptos (9-4), which opens up Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League play tonight at home against Santa Cruz at 5:30 p.m.
• Aptos goes 2-1 - The Mariners split their final two games of the Joe Schram Holiday Classic, falling to host St. Francis-Mountain View, 56-35, on Dec. 28, and beating Moreau Catholic, 64-29, the following day.
Natalia Ackerman recorded a double-double against St. Francis, and finished with 10 points against Moreau Catholic. Ackerman and Gabby Giuffre were both named to the all-tournament team.
Hannah Hocom scored 16 points on Dec. 29.
• St. Francis 60, Watsonville 51 - Andrew Seymour swished four 3-point shots and finished with 20 points in the Sharks' narrow preseason win over the Wildcatz on Thursday evening.
Jake Taylor added 12 points for St. Francis (8-2), which travels to King City today at 6 p.m.
For Watsonville (10-4), Fabian Rodriguez scored 12 points and Jonny Silapan added 10.
The Wildcatz will look to bounce back in their PCAL-Santa Lucia opener on Jan. 11 against Greenfield.
• PV finishes 2-1 - Christian Quintero had three 30-point games for Pajaro Valley in Bob Steinbach Classic action in North Salinas.
Quintero recorded a double-double with 31 points and 10 rebounds in a 60-51 loss to Mission-San Jose on Dec. 27. He also had 35 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals in an 80-74 win over King City, and flirted with a quadruple-double in a 74-32 rout of host North Salinas, finishing with 31 points, seven rebounds, six assists and seven steals.
Quintero was named to the all-tournament team for his efforts.
Bryan Gallardo scored 20 points against North Salinas.
Juan Martinez (15) and Justin Rodriguez (13) combined for 28 points against King City.
• St. Francis 59, Gunderson 37 - E.J. Kelly had 13 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the Sharks in their blowout win on Dec. 29.
Andrew Seymour added 13 points — 11 coming in the first half. Jake Taylor chipped in nine points while Joseph Ramirez and Dominic Anderson-Nakagawa each had seven points.
• Watsonville 1, Mililani 0 - The Wildcatz won their first game in Hawaii on Wednesday against the Trojans.
No other stats were reported.
Watsonville closes out its trip to the island state on Saturday against Kapolei before returning home to start Pacific Coast Athletic League Gabilan division play against San Benito on Tuesday.