#86 in the Nation Cardinal Newman Girls Soccer faced #16 Windsor at Windsor High School to open NBL Oak league play on Wednesday. The game was going to be an uphill battle for the Cardinals and they weren't shy of a challenge, coming into the game undefeated, 7-0. Windsor came in 6-0, 16th in the nation and 5th in the state of California. They had opened their season with wins in tournament play against #871 Antelope, 3-0, #135 Chico, 5-1, #634 Lincoln, 2-1 and #110 Rocklin, who they beat 4-2 in penalties after drawing 4-4 in regulation. The Jags then clean sheeted Del Oro 1-0 and Marin Catholic 2-0.
Cardinal Newman brought their best game to a rainy night at Windsor High School and Senior Sam Fenske found the back of the net 15 minutes into the first half to give the Cardinals an early lead. The Cardinals kept attacking and had multiple chances throughout the first half which overwhelmed the Windsor goalie, but she kept Newman from scoring for the rest of the 1st half. Newman lead 1-0 at the end of the 1st half and went into the locker room ready to come out in the 2nd and battle for a big statement win. Newman kept pressing the goalie and 25 minutes into the 2nd Half, Sam Fenske foumd the back of the net again to give Newman a cushion with 20 minutes to go in the game. The Jaguars were on their hindlegs and pushed the ball down the field, but got fouled setting up a crucial chance to pull within one with 8 minutes left in the game. Crazier comebacks had happened and it all came down to Windsor starting one. The Jags lined up and found the back of the net to pull within one. Newman played incredible defense and held Windsor's attack for the last 8 minutes to win 2-1. This win was a huge one and will be the statement win for Newman to be ranked high nationally.
Natalia Belmonte had been anchoring the defense and played a huge part in stopping the elite Windsor attack and 2 time NBL MVP Jayden Holdenreid. Abella Hunter and Katie Zeleny both had great games at midfield for Newman helping out the great Newman attack. The Cardinals jumped from 86 to 48 on the National Rankings and Windsor fell from 16 to 43. Newman jumped from 33 to 17 on the California State Rankings and Windsor fell to 15. The Cardinals have a tough Oak League schedule ahead and it continues on Friday with Montgomery coming for a visit at Ed Lloyd Field. The result of the game Wednesday sets up a big rematch in just 2 weeks at Ed Lloyd Field that will likely get media coverage. In Newman's next 5 games are 5 tough opponents, Monty Friday at home, at Maria Carrillo on the 18th, at Analy on the 20th, Sonoma Academy at home on the 24th and Windsor on the 26th at home. Windsor will face Analy away on Friday, Acalanes away on Tuesday, Carrillo at home on the 20th, Monty away on the 24th and then the rematch against Newman at Ed Lloyd Field on the 26th.