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COC soccer rides late game antics to win

Cougars score two goals in final ten minutes

Posted: November 23, 2013 11:10 p.m.
Updated: November 23, 2013 11:10 p.m.

Those expecting to see the No. 4 seed College of the Canyons women’s soccer team cruise into the second round of the California Community College Athletic Association playoffs witnessed a completely different series of events.

In a physical match, the Cougars scored twice in the final 20 minutes of play to come back and defeat No. 13 seed Mt. San Antonio College 2-1 in the opening round of the postseason Saturday night at Cougar Stadium.

“Our girls have a lot of heart. They’re champions,” said COC head coach Justin Lundin, whose team finished first in the Western State Conference. “They play like champions, and you can never count us out. Until that last whistle blows, you’re going to get everything that they have.”

COC (17-1-4) saved its best play for late in the game as its leading scorer Stacy Atwater saved the season for the Cougars.

Trailing 1-0 in the 80th minute, the forward from Saugus High found a rebound off a corner kick and blasted the ball into the back of the net to even the score.

“Corner kick. Anabell (Gonzalez) headed (the ball) into the air,” Atwater said. “And if it wasn’t for her heading the ball and getting up with the keeper right there, I wouldn’t have had the chance.”

Atwater capitalized on another prime opportunity with less than two minutes to play in regulation.

After handling a deflection at the top-right corner of the box, the sophomore angled a shot across the box and went top-shelf left to give COC a 2-1 lead.

“I was honestly, like, let me just try this and see if it goes in. And I just hit it and it happened to go in, so it was awesome.” Atwater said.

Mt. SAC (12-4-6) got on the board in the 61st minute as midfielder Carlee Chien controlled a rebound in the box and found an opening past COC goalkeeper Katherine Koury.

The Mounties tallied 11 shots, seven of those on goal, while eight of COC’s 20 shots were on target.

The match was hard fought and physical.

Each team recorded 12 fouls, and many more could have easily been called.

“If you don’t call the fouls and you don’t set the tone as the ref, the girls are going to do whatever they can. Whatever you’re letting them get away with, they’re going to do that.” Lundin said.

COC is in the midst of a seven-game winning streak in which it has outscored its opponents 21-2.

The Cougars will play the winner of No. 5 seed San Diego Miramar College and No. 12 seed Citrus College in the second round of the CCCAA playoffs on either Tuesday or Wednesday.


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