Clermont – Gianna Bonnet made some brilliant saves to keep the match scoreless for more than 90 minutes. Bonet’s twin sister, Bella, made sure the match didn’t end like this.
Bella Bonnet scored a surprise strike from nearly 35 yards in overtime to guide the Claremont Girls’ soccer team to a 1-0 Palomares League win over Alta Loma on Thursday evening.
Clermont remained unbeaten and took only first place in the league standings.
“It’s unfortunate for Alta Loma to end up like this because they came up to us and played a great match,” said Claremont coach Tim Tracy. “Alta Loma seized the momentum during the second half, but we just kept battling and found a way to win it in the end.”
Clermont (12–0–1, 3–0 in the league) played in the second half and overtime without leading scorer Amelia Loeffler, who was ruled out with a leg injury. Wolfpack couldn’t do much aggressively in the second half, but that changed in overtime.
In the 15th minute of the extra period, Maddie Coles played Bella Bonet in an open field. Bonnet looked up and saw the goalkeeper away from his line, so Bonnet took a touch in the center of the net before breaking the deciding goal.
“I saw an opportunity and took it,” Bonet said. “It was far away, which makes it even more exciting.”
Perhaps Bonnet took the advice of his twin sister.
“I tell him to keep his head up all the time and look for those people,” Gianna Bonet said.
Tracy said that Gianna Bonet had her best performance of the season. Clermont had the lion’s share in the opening half, but Alta Loma’s counterattack provided a handful of scoring opportunities. In the 14th minute, Haley Bradbury hit a shot, eyeing the goal, but Bonnet corrected and threw the ball over the post.
“I saw his wind, so I set myself,” she said. “I pushed … and boom, save.”
Kendall Campbell and Sarah Mahfoud each had an opportunity to break the deadlock in the second half, but Bonnet quickly charged from his line and blocked shots to deny goals.
“There was a 10-minute period when they were really on our heels,” Tracy said of Alta Loma’s second-half push. “(Gianna Bonnet) Leadership between the pipes is so important. She hasn’t tested much this year, but she made a big move tonight.”
Alta Loma had a chance at the start of overtime when Laura Rosales made a free kick just outside the penalty area. Rosales tried to drive the ball into the net, but Bonnet worked through some traffic and caught the ball.
“It was another great game and fight,” said Alta Loma coach Ben Davis. “I’m proud of my team’s effort, and I thought we did them a couple of times, but it didn’t. I thought maybe we got to at least get a draw, but then they got an incredible goal. Football can be a brutal sport.”