Third time the charm as Liberty Ranch captures soccer title

The Liberty Ranch girls soccer team celebrates Thursday's win the section championship game.

Third time was the charm for the Liberty Ranch High girls soccer team.

The top-seeded Hawks posted a 4-0 win over No. 6 El Camino on Thursday in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV title game at Cosumnes Oaks High of Elk Grove. Liberty Ranch (19-4) has lost the last two section title games; to Center of Antelope 4-2 in overtime last winter and Woodland 2-0 on penalty kicks in 2017.

“These girls were fully equipped and prepared,” said Liberty Ranch assistant coach Kevin Brown. “We are so proud of them as coaches. They earned it.”

This is the second section banner in the Liberty Ranch girls soccer program since Galt’s second high school opened its doors in 2009. The Hawks won the blue banner in 2013.

Next stop for Liberty Ranch (19-4), winners of the Sierra Valley Conference that is riding on a 15-game winning streak, is the CIF NorCal playoffs. According to Will DeBoard, the section’s assistant commissioner, the finalists in divisions I through IV earn an automatic berth. The CIF State is expected to release the brackets on its website — cifstate.org — on Sunday. Liberty Ranch is expected to host a first-round game at Hawk Stadium.

Karlie Hintze scored the Hawks’ first goal on a free kick against El Camino, out of Sacramento, from 40 yards. Then McKenna Brown, on an assist from Saydie Zanotti, made it 2-0 at halftime.

“They didn’t have one person who was dominating,” said Kevin Brown of El Camino. “I think we started realizing that they didn’t have a lot of power.”

Sydney Klink scored the Hawks’ last two goals in the second half; teammates Lexi Lupton and Brown had an assist on the third and fourth goals respectively.

“I think we were prepared for this game,” said Kevin Brown.

“We’ve been there before, we know what it’s like to be runner-up.”

The weather also played a role for Liberty Ranch, Brown noted.

“There was a lot of wind tonight, and we got lucky to go with the wind,” Brown said.

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