Women’s soccer falls short in penalty kick duel to end season

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Women’s soccer falls short in penalty kick duel to end season

Vaquero goalkeeper Kasey Jensen (No. 1) watches the game-winning goal slip in the net to close out the season against the Rio Hondo College Roadrunners in a shootout Saturday, Nov. 22 at La Playa Stadium in Santa Barbara. City College lost in the first round of state playoffs 5-4.

Vaquero goalkeeper Kasey Jensen (No. 1) watches the game-winning goal slip in the net to close out the season against the Rio Hondo College Roadrunners in a shootout Saturday, Nov. 22 at La Playa Stadium in Santa Barbara. City College lost in the first round of state playoffs 5-4.

Matt Shamblin

Vaquero goalkeeper Kasey Jensen (No. 1) watches the game-winning goal slip in the net to close out the season against the Rio Hondo College Roadrunners in a shootout Saturday, Nov. 22 at La Playa Stadium in Santa Barbara. City College lost in the first round of state playoffs 5-4.

Matt Shamblin

Matt Shamblin

Vaquero goalkeeper Kasey Jensen (No. 1) watches the game-winning goal slip in the net to close out the season against the Rio Hondo College Roadrunners in a shootout Saturday, Nov. 22 at La Playa Stadium in Santa Barbara. City College lost in the first round of state playoffs 5-4.

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The City College women’s soccer team suffered a heartbreaking defeat Saturday night at La Playa Stadium, falling to Rio Hondo 5-4 on penalty kicks for an unexpected first round elimination from state playoffs.

Penalty kicks ensued after a 120-minute defensive stalemate left the match tied 0-0. The Vaqueros took a 2-1 lead in penalty kicks, but the Road Runners scored on their final four attempts to win the game and move on to the second round of playoffs.

“It’s disappointing to lose,” said Head Coach John Sisterson. “I felt that we didn’t play our best. I don’t know if the girls were anxious knowing if you lose the game you’re out, but I’m proud of them and the year they’ve had.”

Both teams struggled to produce offense in the first half. Rio Hondo first tried City College goalkeeper Karen Nordin (No. 0) in the 43rd minute. Rio Hondo midfielder Alexis Marinero (No. 6) broke free on the left side of the box and got a shot past Nordin, but the attempt deflected off of the goalpost and the tie was preserved.

City College almost took the lead in the 72nd minute. Sophomore defender Chiara Kehl (No. 6) put a 39-yard free kick on goal, but couldn’t get it past Rio Hondo goalkeeper Katelyn Oshima (No.1). Oshima, the Foothill Conference leader in save percentage this season, looked sharp all night.

Rio Hondo nearly had a game winner of its own just 10 minutes later. Marinero found an unguarded Sabrina Gonzalez (No.11) in front of the goal, but Gonzalez misfired and the shot soared high.

The game was scoreless at the end of regulation and not even two 15-minute overtime periods could break the tie. The two teams lined up for penalty kicks with their whole season on the line.

Both teams switched goalkeepers for penalty kicks. City College switched to Kasey Jensen (No.1) and Rio Hondo brought in Christina Holquin (No. 0).

City College freshman midfielder Sarah Jimenez (No. 22)and freshmen forward Laura Romero (No. 20) scored the first two Vaquero attempts. Jensen was able to save a shot from Rio Hondo midfielder Janeth Acuna (No. 25) to put the Vaqueros up 2-1.

But the lead didn’t last. City College defender Tavara Zachert-Johnson (No. 11) hit the post on the following attempt, and Rio Hondo’s leading scorer Andrea Sanchez (No.8) beat Jensen to even the score at 3-3. Kehl traded goals with Rio Hondo’s Amber Ponce(No.5) to bring both teams to 4-4.

After City College’s final attempt was thwarted by a leaping Holquin save, Rio Hondo midfielder Alyssa Godinez (No.3) lined up to try and win the game for the Road Runners. Godinez blasted a shot past the fingertips of a diving Jensen, sending her team into a frenzied celebration at midfield.

The City College players headed to their own sideline, looking visibly shaken after suffering their first defeat of the season.

“We just didn’t play as good as we have in the past few games,” Kehl said. “It happens. We practice (penalty kicks) the whole week. But luck wasn’t on our side.”

Sisterson said despite the sour finish, he is still proud of his squad’s 2014 season.

“It just wasn’t meant to be,” Sisterson said. “We’ll move on and get stronger.”

“Now next year we’ll have a point to prove.”

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