LODI -- The pass came into Merceds Alison Miller and quickly a trio of St. Francis players swarmed the Bears senior.
The Troubadors made it clear they werent going to let the Central California Conference MVP beat them.
Merced had no answer on the other end of the pool for the St. Francis offense attack as the Troubadors routed the Bears 17-9 in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 1 semifinals on Thursday afternoon at Tokay High.
St. Francis held Miller to three goals in the first half as it sprinted out to a 12-3 lead.
Miller erupted for six goals in the second half as she accounted for all nine of the Bears goals.
It was nice to make it this far, Miller said. The (Merced boys team) gave us (a hard time) because our record wasnt as good as theirs. To make it this far shows them were pretty good, too.
The Bears finished the season with a 20-11 record and advanced to the semifinals for the first time since 2000.
Thats why there werent any tears after Merceds season came to an end.
Its been a great season, Bears coach Kristie Dunham said. We were undefeated league champs. We got past the second round for the first time in a long time. We planned on running a zone defense today. We probably should have worked on it more during the season.
It took St. Francis a couple of offensive possessions to adjust to Merceds defense, but once it got going the Troubadors got the ball wherever they wanted when they wanted.
Five players scored goals to help St. Francis jump out to a 5-2 lead after the first quarter.
The Troubadors then opened the second quarter with six straight goals to extend their lead to 11-2. Kaitlyn Cozens scored four of her six goals in the second quarter.
We would have had to play the game of our lives today and they would have had to play bad for us to pull this out, Dunham said. That didnt happen. We can talk about tactics, but they are just faster and more experienced than us.
St. Francis advances to Saturdays championship game against Davis-Yolo.
El Camino 3, Atwater 0
SACRAMENTO -- The Falcons playoff run came to the end with a 25-11, 25-17, 25-18 loss to the top seed in the Division 2 playoffs. Brigette Berlier led Atwater with 10 kills and 12 digs.
Le Grand 3, Capital Christian 0
SACRAMENTO -- Savanna Barnett recorded 18 kills as the Bulldogs upset No. 1 seed Capital Christian, 25-13, 25-7, 26-24 in the Division 5 playoffs. Marissa Marchini added 30 assists for Le Grand.