Hello and welcome to the blog’s live coverage of Oakland Soul visiting Academica SC out in Turlock. Soul enter the night at 5-0-2 after suffering back-to-back losses to California Storm and SF Glens, looking to get back on track.
Soul walks into the match currently third in the USL W League’s Nor Cal Division and are currently competing against United PDX of the Northwest Division for a final playoff spot with five matches left in the season. The Nor Cal Division will be awarded an extra wild card berth into the postseason if the third-place team holds a better points-per-game ratio than the second-place Northwest team, meaning PDX currently holds that slight favor at 4-1-1 with 2.17 points per game to Oakland’s 2.14.
The good news for Soul is they don’t have to worry about facing tough competition like Cal Storm, Stockton Cargo, or SF Glens until the final game of the regular season. If Oakland can take care of business, they should find a pathway to the playoffs.
Tonight marks the close of the season-series between the two clubs with Soul owning the last meeting with a 4-0 win on May 28.
Player of the Match – Jordan Geis
We named Jordan Geis our RootsBlog Player of the Match for making an instant impact after entering the match in the 25th minute. She stretched the field playing all the way to the left, making cuts into the box and long runs down the pitch.
Geis had the assist on the opening goal in the 37th, scored in the 40th, and bagged her brace in the 81st minute.
- Jordan Geis could be a special prospect. She’s currently committed to UCLA and will join the school following her graduation in 2024 alongside Layla Armas. Entering in the 25th minute, the match clearly changed after her inclusion. She was able to lineup on the far left side of the field to stretch the defense, freeing up space for Flocchini and Ceci Gee. She was positioned perfectly for both first-half goals and her brace in the second half was some great individual work.
- There was an explosion of goals in both the first and second halves. Although Oakland took some time to build in the game, it was great to see them pick apart the defense to wear them out in both stages. Soul added both goals in the first half in a three-minute span at 37′ and 40′, while all three goals in the second half were in a stretch of eight minutes at 81′, 85′, and 89′.
- It was another different lineup for Oakland, marking the third different lineup since the most-recent win over Cal Storm on June 4. You can arguably call Soul’s lineup through the first five wins of the season its “A Team,” while the last three matches have been a mix of previous starters, subs, or players making their debut–like GK Melani Morales, FB Elianna Wong, and CM Vickie Jones tonight. With that, a 5-0 performance makes the result very impressive.
- Soul now has four matches left with three of them being expected wins. They will host Pleasanton Rage this Sunday at Merritt; Rage is 1-1-5 with its only win being a 3-0 victory against Academica. Oakland then travels to face Olympic Club at USF’s Negoesco Stadium on June 21 and faces Marin FC at San Rafael HS on June 25. With wins, Soul should solidify its spot in the playoffs. The season-finale is July 2, hosting No. 1 ranked SF Glens at Merritt College.
- Oakland Soul Starting 11
It is another different roster with a lot of changes. Ceci Gee gets the start as the right side center forward with Aliyah Jones playing across from her. Flocchini gets the start in the 10-role with Nayeli Diaz on the bench. Melani Morales makes her Soul debut at goal keeper. Elianna Wong also makes her Oakland debut.
Morales, notably, just finished her senior year at CSU Monterey after also appearing for Las Positas College and Sonoma State earlier in her college career.
GAMETIME! Can Oakland Soul get back on track in Turlock? Keep it locked here.
Soul play towards goal – 2′
Looked like Nyby making the feed to Ceci.
Broadcast note. You have to refresh the page to start the feed, lol.
Soul not letting Academica out of their half through the first 17 mins – 17′
Brinkman long shot on target but easily handled -20′
Soul steal high, feed toward Ceci cleared out for a throw – 22′
Aliyah Jones coming off for Jordan Geis – 25′
Ceci shot sails – 26′
Soul corner – 32′
Ceci draws it on a run into the box. Pass blocked out.
Ball in claimed by the GK.
Academica long shot sails – 35′
Was never a challenge.
Soul corner – 35′
Jordan Geis draws it after a nice run into the box and centers a pass. Ball defended out.
Play short to Flocchini. Plays to Zoe Franks, her longshot sails
SOUL GOAL – 37′
Isabella Flocchini scores her first Oakland goal! Starts with Jaidi Nyby feeding a pass to Jordan Geis out on the left side, who centers a ball to Flocchini charging toward net.
SOUL GOAL – 40′
Kaytlin Brinkman reads the keeper coming out and takes a touch around her. Centers a pass toward Geis at the left post, takes a shot which may have gone past the line. Defender tried to clear and it went off of the left post and back in. Either was an own goal or a goal for Geis.
Note: Jordan Geis credited for the goal, per the team.
Save for Morales – 45′
Shot from around top of area on the left side, she’s there to handle it easily.
First half notes:
Soul tack on two goals in quick succession in the 37th and 40th minutes. Jordan Geis has really changed the game for Oakland’s attack since coming on in the 25th minute–lining up on the left side and making long runs into the area. Oakland really hasn’t been challenged at all by Academica with just a couple of attempts sailing high and one easy save to close the half.
Soul really didn’t start finding its groove until the 30th, which isn’t ideal but a positive given its the third different lineup in as many matches. Lacking key figures like Miranda Nild and Samantha Tran will cause some disfunction–so going into the half with a lead is a good sign regardless of the opponent.
Eden Olson, a second half sub, just misses a cleanup opportunity after Academica’s GK drops the ball – 51′
Gets too under her shot from close distance, ball sails.
Academica shot from distance on right side – 60′
Easily handled again.
Brinkman and Flocchini off for Sarah Mirr and Nayeli Diaz – 61′
Soul big opportunity goes narrowly wide.
Soul corner – 72′
Soul shot wide – 79′
Not clear who it was, Nayeli?
Geis shot saved – 80′
From an odd angle on the left.
SOUL GOAL – 81′
Jordan Geis wheels it in on the left side, takes a few dribbles centrally to wrap in a goal with her right foot. It’s 3-0.
SOUL GOAL – 85′
Nayeli Diaz with some GREAT footwork and interplay with Eden Olson, who also showed some great technical work to get herself free toward the penalty area.
SOUL GOAL – 89′
More great work in the area. Ball falls to Eden Olson, rockets in a goal that deflects off of the keeper.