Story and Photos by Brennan Waldorf –
The Northampton Yellow Jackets’ girls soccer team hosted Essex High school June 15 in Eastville.
The Jackets were given the three seed in the Division I, Region A Tournament after going 7-2 in the regular season. They beat the sixth-seeded Trojans decisively 17-2 in the first round.
The Trojans had not won a game entering Monday’s bout and quickly fell behind as the faster and more agile Jackets attacked relentlessly in the first half.
Northampton’s Rocio Cruz had a career day in the regional opener as she completed a hat trick in less than 15 minutes. The junior scored the first goal of the game at the 36:07 mark and scored the third goal unassisted at the 25:53 mark. She was the game’s MVP as she went on to score an absurd eight total goals.
Essex’s Heaven Walker scored the only goal for Trojans in the first half after a dazzling display of agility led her to take a clean shot on the Jackets’ keeper Makaila Harloff.
The Jackets 17-2 lead in the second half ended the game early with 20 minutes remaining due to the VHSL mercy rule. Northampton was led by Rocio Cruz with eight goals. Olivia Peart, Edith Palacio, and Cassidy Chapman each had two goals. Daniela Gonzalez, Johana Huaczozon Monila, and Jacqueline Santos Maldonnado each finished with a goal apiece. Olivia Peart and Ryan Jones led in assists with three a piece while Vashti Holmes assisted on two.
The victory over the Trojans advanced Northampton to the regional semifinals where the Jackets will play the No. 2-seeded Northumblerand High School. A win over the Indians would advance the Jackets to the finals where they could possibly play the No. 1 seed, West Point High School.
The Pointers have already beaten Northampton twice but a loss to them in the finals would still advance the Jackets to the state tournament.