There isn’t much Jessica Dondlinger hasn’t accomplished in four years at Fowler High.
▪ Dondlinger has been not only a four-year varsity player in volleyball, soccer and softball, but an All-Bee performer in each and part of three Central Section championships.
▪ She plays in the band.
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▪ Her grades are among the best in her class.
▪ She was the town’s Fall Festival Queen and the school’s homecoming queen.
▪ She’s headed to Fresno Pacific on a soccer scholarship.
And on Thursday, Dondlinger helped Fowler finish the regular season as the section’s only unbeaten soccer team – girls or boys – with a hat trick in an 8-4 victory over rival Caruthers to clinch the outright West Sequoia League title.
Fowler (22-0-1, 10-0) likely will be the No. 1 seed in Division V when girls and boys soccer playoff seedings across six divisions are announced Saturday. The Redcats are two-time defending division champions.
“I’m really proud of my team,” Dondlinger said. “It’s a total team effort. I think it’s amazing for our school, the things we’ve accomplished.”
Dondlinger’s accomplishments are pretty impressive, too.
Her three goals against Caruthers – two in the second half as the Redcats broke open a 4-4 game – pushed her season total to 53 and her career total to 165, fourth best by a section girls player, according to historian Bob Barnett.
“That’s really cool,” Dondlinger said. “Pretty amazing. I feel blessed and thank God for the ability he’s given me.”
Pretty amazing. I feel blessed and thank God for the ability he’s given me.
Fowler girls soccer standout Jessica Dondlinger, who is the Central Section’s fourth-leading career scorer with 165 goals.
And all of those goals were scored by a player who almost chose to play basketball as her winter sport.
“Jess, she’s ridiculous. She’s the best player Fowler’s ever seen,” Redcats coach Richard Gonzales said. “It’s hard to tell the future, but it’s hard to say if we’ll ever see a player like Jess again.
“She’s a machine. She’s humble. She works hard. She’s always the first one here and the last one to leave. She’s really the captain of our team, the embodiment of everything we’re trying to be.”
Dondlinger has played soccer since she was 4 years old in Fowler youth leagues, but only began playing club – where the vast majority of soccer players earn their college scholarships – after her junior season in high school. She never had time for club soccer before that because she spent her summers on travel softball teams.
“What she focuses on, this kid will play,” Gonzales said. “She’s the real deal.”
Dondlinger, who produced 400 kills for the volleyball team this season and is a career .426 hitter in softball, will try to help Fowler extend its section D-V girls soccer title streak when the postseason begins Tuesday.
Fowler, which also received three goals from Victoria De Leon and two from Sarah Solis against Caruthers, enters the postseason as a winner of 16 straight since its only blemish, a 1-1 tie against Selma on Dec. 13.
What she focuses on, this kid will play. She’s the real deal.
Fowler girls soccer coach Richard Gonzales on Jessica Dondlinger, a three-sport star who will play soccer in college for Fresno Pacific.
The Redcats won in a forfeit over Bishop for the D-V title last season, advancing to the CIF Southern California Regional D-V semifinals; they rode two goals from De Leon to a 3-1 victory over McFarland in the D-V final in 2015. De Leon and Dondlinger are two of 11 players Fowler still has around from that 2015 team.
“We’re excited. These girls have been together for a few years and they work really hard,” Gonzales said. “We’ve been adding some goals to our list (which includes winning the Fowler and Dinuba tournaments and the WSL title) and we’ve been accomplishing them. Those goals are kind of keeping us hungry for playoffs.”
Fowler has scored 142 goals, an average of 6.2 per game, with De Leon contributing 35, Solis 20 and Jennifer Hernandez eight.
“It’s no secret, we shoot a lot in practice,” Gonzales said. “We take an old-school Fresno City basketball (approach). We’re going to score more than you. You might get a couple, but we’re going to keep shooting and pepper your goal. We’re looking to score.”
Fowler 8, Caruthers 4
C, Sydney Kuma 3, AnaMaria Aguilera. F, Victoria De Leon 3, Jessica Dondlinger 3, Sarah Solis 2. Records: Caruthers 11-10-1, 7-1 West Sequoia League. Fowler 22-0-1, 10-0-0.