History was made in wine country Saturday evening as Napa Valley 1839 FC hosted its first-ever women’s and men’s doubleheader and both sides came out victorious, dominating their opponents in front of more than 400 fans at Justin-Siena’s Dodd Stadium.
The event, dubbed SoccerFest, resulted in a goal-fest as 1839 FC earned its first Women’s Premier Soccer League victory, 5-2 over the Diablo Valley Wolves, and the men rolled past FC Davis 8-1 and secured a National Premier Soccer League playoff berth for the first time since the club was founded in 2016.
“The biggest thing today is that the girls set a good tone for the day, getting their first win,” 1839 FC men’s head coach Mark Corbett said. “The guys saw the back end of that game and were fired up, so they deserve credit for putting everyone in the right mindset.”
Action kicked off with head coach Ben Solomon’s 1839 FC women putting pressure on Diablo Valley (0-3) offensively from the outset and being rewarded with an array of goals throughout the match.
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“I really like how we found our rhythm in comparison to the stronger teams we’ve played this year,” Solomon said after his team improved to 1-4. “It was a really hot day, so finding our rhythm early allowed us to wear out the opponent and kill the game off after a couple of goals.”
Tessa Salvestrin, a 2022 Justin-Siena graduate and the 2020-21 Napa County Girls Soccer Player of the Year, opened the scoring 22 minutes into the contest by sliding the ball past the goalkeeper after a clean assist from midfielder Carran Hymel.
Joining Salvestrin on the Napa Valley scoresheet was a Utah native Olivia Jessee, a key member of the Pacific Union College women’s soccer program. The Pioneers standout netted her goal with a strong strike inside the goal box in the 70th minute.
Despite the impressive performances by both strikers, it was the dynamic play and spirited attitude of midfielder Hunter More that stole the show. More – who is going into her senior season at the University of the Pacific in Stockton after leading the Tigers with 4 goals and 10 points last fall – netted 3 goals for Napa Valley, completing the first hat trick in club history for either the men or women.
“It was super fun,” said More, a Mission Viejo native who is set to report to the Israel Women’s National Football Team this week. “We got really good momentum today as a team. It’s exciting, it’s fun to play when we’re scoring a lot of goals. Coming from a loss in the previous week, I think this can push us to reach our full potential. ”
The versatile winger sent fans into celebrations in the 12th minute after tapping in a goal thanks to an assist from Salvestrin. More’s second score came in the 53rd minute with a well-placed free kick from 20 yards out that left the Wolves’ goalkeeper no opportunity to make a save. Fans celebrated More’s hat trick in the 77th minute on an assist from Jessee.
“The atmosphere here is amazing,” More added. “It’s so fun and exciting. We have people running with green smoke bombs celebrating. We can’t do anything without the fans’ support. ”
An inspired men’s side then stepped onto the pitch and put on an offensive clinic against FC Davis (3-5-1), getting goals from six different players and essentially deciding the outcome in the opening minutes.
Marco Manzo, a 2018 Vintage High graduate who was the Napa County Player of the Year as a junior, had a hat trick of his own as the men secured a home game in the first round of the playoffs.
“First of all, I’d like to thank my teammates,” Manzo said. “The goals wouldn’t be possible without them, so big shout-out to them. We brought the intensity and ran the show in all three parts of the field tonight, so we did what we had to do. ”
Two minutes in, leading scorer Dario Pavon was awarded a penalty and converted with a beautiful chip shot down the center of the goal after tricking the opposing goalkeeper to dive to his left. The Spanish international now has 9 goals in the eight matches in which he has participated.
Midfielder Javier Alcarria added a second goal a few minutes later from 18 yards out with a hard strike that derived from a corner kick. With offensive pressure stacking up on Davis, Miguel Galvan Lara dribbled a ball from midfield through defenders and converted an impressive goal of his own for a 3-0 Napa Valley lead just 10 minutes into the contest.
Joining in on the 1839 FC scorefest were midfielders Oscar Ortiz and Victor Llorens before Manzo rounded out the scoring.
Napa Valley (7-2) is tied for second place with El Farolito FC behind Sacramento Gold FC (8-1).
The 1839 FC teams are on the road for 7 pm games next Saturday, June 18. The women take on FC Davis (0-1-2) at Playfields Park while the men visit sixth-place Oakland SC (3-4-2) at Oakland Technical High School.
“We’ll now shift our full attention to our final match of the regular season,” Manzo said. “Our goal is to come in day in and day out and do our best and just focus on us, but still be conscious about the opponent. We’re in the driver’s seat to achieve special things. ”