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By Calstorm Staff, 05/22/23, 12:45PM PDT


It was a cool afternoon when California Storm hosted the Pleasanton Rage for the first time since 2021 and also, for the first time as a USL W League team.

Goal scorers: Giana Riley (4), Janae Gonzalez (2), Paloma Daubert, and Alex Klos

It was a cool afternoon when California Storm hosted the Pleasanton Rage for the first time since 2021 and also, for the first time as a USL W League team.

The game started evenly with plenty of opportunities for both teams to score. In the 10th minute, though, Gonzaga’s Giana Riley scored the Storm’s first goal of the season after battling for the ball in the center of the field. The rest of the half would remain uneventful until the final minutes when Riley would again win the duel for the ball (this time at the top of the box) and slot it home to end the half 2-0.

After the second half started, the Storm earned themselves a corner. Taken by co-captain Janae Gonzalez, returning for her third year and one of the team’s best dead ball specialists, the corner kick would veer right across the box, skim over Brenda Uribe’s head just enough to avoid the defender, and fall right into the patch of UCLA commit Paloma Daubert. Daubert would easily slot it passed the keeper, making it 3-0, but the score would change quickly when Riley would receive a through ball at the top of the box from Gonzalez and slam it into the net.

The Storm eventually ran out of candy to toss into the crowd when 10 minutes later, in the 48th minute, Riley would score her final goal of the night after a solo effort down the right wing, making it 5-0. In the 71st minute, the Storm earned themselves a free kick 50 yards out, in range for a Gonzalez golazo. A hastily taken kick ricocheted off of a Rage player and landed at Santa Clara sophomore Alex Klos’ foot. Recently substituted in, Klos booted it and it arced over the heads of Rage and Storm players and passed the goalkeepers fingers, making it 6-0.

Gonzalez had spent most of her time on the field assisting and managing possession for the Storm in the midfield but with the Rage gassed and the game opened up completely, she changed her strategy to more of a shot taker. The Rage goalkeeper, regardless of the 6 goals let in previously, had made some incredible saves throughout the evening and would continue to do so until the final whistle.

Gonzalez would finally get herself on the score sheet, however, when in the 82nd minute, Stanford’s Madison Ayson won an aerial duel, lofting the ball over a Rage midfielder and towards teammate Washington commit Jadyn Holdenried. With a level head and deft touch, Holdenried used the side of her boot to one touch the ball into Gonzalez’s path, in the midst of starting a run towards goal. Gonzalez took the ball up the center of the park and using the Rage defender as a shield to block the goalkeeper’s vision, faked to the right and slotted it into the bottom corner of the box.

Less than 10 minutes later, in the final seconds of the match, Gonzalez would again take the shot when she collected a deflected ball at the top of the box, firing it from 30 yards out, making it 8-0. The ref quickly blew the whistle after the play resumed, ending the match and declaring the Storm the undisputed winners.

“I’m so proud of this team,” said Coach Jamie Levoy. “They’re still getting used to playing with one another but I can already see the chemistry developing. They’re just a talented group, I think we’re going to have a lot of fun together this season.”

The Storm hosts Stockton Cargo next this Wednesday, May 24th at 7:00 PM. Buy tickets.