Melody Harris never thought she would be playing forward on the Fresno City College women’s soccer team.
That changed eight games into last season, she said, and the sophomore from Hanford came through for her team on Tuesday.
Harris netted her first career hat trick, leading the second-seeded Rams past No. 7 Taft 3-0 to advance to Saturday’s NorCal regional final.
“I was being recruited as a defender out of high school,” Harris said. “I played defender all four years at high school.”
Harris feels comfortable playing the position and it showed against the Cougars.
Harris scored her first goal in the 44th minute on a free kick from 30 yards. She added another goal in the 47th minute and scored her third goal on a header at the 55th mark.
“Honestly, it just came down to composure,” Harris said. “I’ve had many opportunities before to score a hat trick, but it was just a matter of execution. My will to win this game was unreal. I came into this game and I wanted to win it so badly and I wasn’t going to let anything stop me.”
Rams coach Oliver Germond said Harris “played out of her mind” and was “amazing.”
“The header was ridiculous,” said Germond, whose Rams improved to 18-1-4 and will host No. 6 Folsom Lake at 2 p.m. Saturday. “I felt like (Alyssa) Lugo made that happened on the third goal. We talked about making plays in the playoffs and that’s how you win games, and obviously Mel listened and we know she has the potential and she did it today.”
Men’s soccer – No. 6 Fresno City had a lead on goals by Sergio Segura and Johnny Navarro, but No. 3 Evergreen Valley scored four unanswered goals for a 4-2 victory in a regional semifinal.
The Central Valley Conference champion Rams end the season 13-6-4.
Volleyball – No. 6 Fresno City College rebounded from an opening-set loss to defeat No. 11 Gavilan 26-28, 25-12, 25-20, 25-7 in a first-round NorCal Regional match.
Ny Brown led the charge for Fresno City with 12 kills, while teammate Jenna Goldsberry totaled 18 digs.
“I felt like we weren’t playing intensely,” said middle blocker Malerie Crenshaw, who finished with seven kills. “It was about everyone taking care of their job, and just settle in and be calm.”
Fresno City (21-4) will visit No. 3 Feather River (20-6) in Quincy on Saturday.