STOCKTON - It’s early in the high school soccer season, and things have been off to a bit of a slower start for the Tracy High girls squad.

Judging by their performance Friday, though, the Bulldogs are showing signs of picking up the pace.

Tracy opened the Delta Showcase with a 1-0 win over Kennedy, with freshman Bailey Gualco accounting for the lone score. Madeleine Mannina and Arianna Graziano split time at goalkeeper to preserve Tracy’s shutout, giving the Bulldogs their third straight win.

The tournament continues today at Delta College, with Tracy playing Golden Valley at 10:45 a.m.

The winning streak comes after Tracy started the season 0-3-1. Head coach Nathan Perry said it’s been an unusual beginning to the season, with things like poor air quality from the Camp Fire and the holiday break stalling things early.

On top of that, Perry said a number of Bulldogs are still on the return from various injuries. Altogether, it’s very much a Tracy team that’s still assembling the pieces.

It found the right combination Friday, led by the freshman Gualco - a recent call-up by Perry - and her first-half goal. The defense took it from there, keeping Kennedy uncomfortable for most of the match, save for a shot off the crossbar late in the contest.

“Our defensive movement was big today,” Perry said. “Offensively, we’re still finding ourselves, but I thought defensively we kept things pretty safe there for the most part of the game.”

One of the biggest improvements according to the coach, who is entering his 15th season with Tracy, was the bump in ball movement. Rather than attacking the space that the ball was coming from, Perry said the Bulldogs mixed in side-to-side movement, a sign of a collective effort as a team.

The Bulldogs (3-3-1) are still working their way back to full strength. Fortunately for Tracy, there’s still time to heal before setting out to defend as reigning Tri-City Athletic League champions.

“As we work those girls back in, get that health back and find ourselves as a team,” Perry said, “I think we’ll be fine.”

Sierra 6, Bear Creek 1

The Timberwolves showed up to the Delta Showcase in a big way, beating Bear Creek thanks to big performances from senior Jadyn Shinn and sophomore Tiana Cello.

The pair each scored twice while delivering an assist for Sierra (7-1-1). Freshman Zoe Wilson and sophomore Jenna Villanueva scored as well, with sophomore Nicole Martin dishing out two assists and freshman Alexus Rossi adding one.

The Timberwolves had a 3-0 lead at halftime and, though it was safe at that point thanks to goalkeeper Michaela Bitle and her three saves, scored three more times in the second half to cement the win.

St. Mary’s 2, Golden Valley 0

The Rams (2-0) shut out Golden Valley in the Delta Showcase on Friday, setting up a 2:15 p.m. match today against Sierra.

Additional statistics for St. Mary’s were not available at press time.

Contact reporter Nick Woodard at (209) 546-8272 or Follow him on Twitter@nwoodard25.