TURLOCK — When this city's soccer teams meet, the outcome often rides on one play. It's just a question of who will make it.
Emily Thompson delivered the key play Wednesday, blasting in a 25-yard shot midway through the second half to lift Turlock to a 1-0 victory over rival Pitman.
It was Thompson's second goal of the season, and the assist was from Sara Latham — Turlock's top scorer who hadn't earned an assist before Thompson's goal.
With four-year player Cassidy Costa anchoring the defense and Andrea Rosas sharp in the goal, that was enough to keep Turlock (12-0-1, 5-0-1) in first place in the Central California Conference.
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The 'Dogs played a ball down the right side, then Latham flicked it inside and Thompson did the rest. A light touch put the ball in position, then she kicked it into the upper right corner.
"I usually rotate six or eight positions, because I want the girls to stay fresh," Turlock coach Dennis Bishop said. "We scaled it back today, in part because Pitman is across town and in part because it was for first place."
Bishop noted that he is a Turlock grad, so a victory over Pitman (9-3-1, 3-1-1) is extra special.
"I told the girls beforehand, 'A Turlock grad can't lose to Pitman,' " said Bishop, in his 10th year as Turlock's coach. "I think they enjoyed seeing me excited."