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COC soccer downed in 2nd round

Posted: November 26, 2013 9:28 p.m.
Updated: November 26, 2013 9:28 p.m.

College of the Canyons Yesenia Avilez controls the ball during against San Diego Miramar on Tuesday at COC. Photo by Philip Baguiao/COC sports information

This is becoming a frustrating trend for College of the Canyons women’s soccer.

Three straight years, the COC Cougars won a Western State Conference, South Division and played nearly flawless in the regular season.

And for three straight years, the season came to an end in the second round of the California Community College Athletic Association Southern California Regional playoffs.

This time, the loss was a 1-0 setback to San Diego Miramar on Tuesday at COC.

“We only keep players for two years so this is a whole new group this year,” said COC head coach Justin Lundin of the second-round losses. “By the time you’re in the second round of playoffs, it can go either way and unfortunately it just didn’t go our way today.”

SDM (16-2-3) came into the game on an eight-game win streak as the No. 5 seed in the Southern California bracket. The Cougars (17-2-4) were the No. 4 seed.

On Tuesday, the only score of the game came on a penalty kick by Ninfa Ramirez in the 52nd minute.

The foul was called when two SDM players collided with a COC player inside the 18-yard box.

Lundin argued the foul.

“We didn’t earn a victory,” he said of the call, “but we didn’t earn a loss either.”

After the goal, COC had its chances. It led San Diego Miramar 7-2 in corner kicks and the two teams were evenly matched with eight shots apiece on goal.

“It’s a good program,” Lundin said of San Diego. “They just defended really well. Pretty much their game plan was to defend us really well.”

The end of the season also means the end of the line at COC for several key player, including sophomore Stacey Atwater.

She broke a single-season school record this season by scoring 27 goals, two of which came last week in the team’s 2-1 playoff win over Mt. San Antonio College.

Atwater’s career goal total ends at 36, which is also a school record.

COC will also lose talented sophomore defender Allison Oliver, midfielder Allie Leon and goalkeeper Katherine Koury.

Outside of them, there are likely six freshmen who will return next season.

“We’re really looking forward to next year’s season,” Lundin said. “We have a great group of returning sophomores and we have a lot of really good recruits coming in already.”


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