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Valencia girls soccer suffers another heartbreak

Valencia’s season ends on a loss decided by penalty kicks

Posted: February 26, 2014 10:52 p.m.
Updated: February 26, 2014 10:52 p.m.

Valencia's Makenna Young, left, heads the ball against Santiago during Wednesday's game at Valencia High.

 

Heartbreaking losses to Canyon and Hart late in the Foothill League season ended the Valencia Vikings girls soccer team’s hopes of winning a league title.

And now a heartbreaking loss ended its opportunity at a CIF championship.

In one of those games that neither team deserved to lose, the Vikings fell to the Santiago Sharks of Corona in penalty kicks by of score of 0-0 (4-2) in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division II playoffs Wednesday at Valencia High School.

“They left every ounce of their effort, every ounce of their skill, and every ounce of their heart out there on the field,” said Valencia head coach Sean O’Connell. “(But) today we came up short.”

Late goals against the Cowboys and the Indians led to 1-0 defeats and a second-place Foothill League finish for the Vikings.

But devastation struck the Vikings (19-5-2) again in the postseason.

Santiago goalkeeper Paige Simoneau blocked two Valencia penalty kicks, including the Vikings’ first off the foot of Makenna Young.

Following Young’s miss, Raven Sweeny quickly gave the Sharks (21-4-4) the advantage as she blasted the penalty kick to the top-left corner past Valencia goalkeeper Nicole Joseph.

From there, Santiago outscored the Vikings 3-2 in penalty kicks, which ended the match.

“Our goalkeeper Paige Simoneau came up huge. Blocking that first one, talk about setting the tone,” said Santiago head coach Mike Flemming. “Now they’re chasing the scoreboard in the sense that they know they’re down one and we haven’t even shot yet.”

Valencia’s best chance at a goal came early in the first half.

In the fifth minute, Rebecca Harrison blasted a free kick from 4 yards outside the left corner of the box to the top-right corner of the goal.

Simoneau deflected the shot, but the ball hit the post. bounced back into the box and was then cleared by a Santiago defender.

Simoneau had five saves.

Joseph had 10 saves and came up huge in the 64th minute with a diving save to her right to keep the score 0-0.

“Lot of pressure,” Joseph said on what she saw on the pitch. “But we knew that they’d be coming out here wanting it.”

After 80 minutes of regulation, and two 10-minute extra time periods, penalty kicks were the decider.

Last season, the Vikings lost 3-2 to Sunny Hills in the CIF-SS Division II quarterfinals as a goal in the first extra-time period ended the game.

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