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Girls soccer: Vikes plucked from playoffs

Valencia girls soccer loses to Laguna Hills in PKs

Posted: February 24, 2010 10:54 p.m.
Updated: February 25, 2010 4:30 a.m.

Valencia's Kristin Bos dribbles the ball down field as Laguna Hills' Kiera Bocchino chases her down Wednesday at Valencia High.

 

After two halves and two overtime periods, Valencia and Laguna Hills had run out of ways to find separation.

Following the first five penalty kicks, the two remained deadlocked with four goals apiece.

Then the Vikings flinched.

On the third round of one-and-ones, Valencia’s Lindsey Bos sent a shot inches over the crossbar, and the Vikings fell to the Hawks 1-1 (7-6 in penalty kicks) in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division II playoffs on Wednesday at Valencia High.

“For that game to come down to penalty kicks. … It’s just one of those unfortunate laws of soccer,” said Valencia head coach Sean O’Connell. “You get to that point where you play 100 minutes, I don’t think anyone wants it to end on PKs.”

The Vikings (15-6-2) controlled possession for most of the first half with precise passing and timely defense, but were held at bay thanks to the solid play of Laguna Hills’ back line.

But in the 29th minute, Valencia finally broke through, when Alyssa Triana’s throw-in found Kristin Bos in front of the keeper.

After a brief scrum, Bos’ header put Valencia up 1-0.

In the second half, the Hawks (13-7-0) began to build momentum.

“We had to defend better and shut down (Kristin Bos),” said Laguna Hills head coach Vishtash Farhadi. “The advantage (in the second half) was a change of attitude. We had to focus on beating them in the counterattack.”

In the 42nd minute, it worked.

Hawks midfielder Gabi Iribane settled a lob just beyond the Vikings’ last defender, danced around Vikings goalkeeper Kaci McCain’s last-ditch effort and pushed the ball through to tie the score at 1-1.

Both teams took a few more shots as the second half went on, but could not find the back of the net.

“In a way, I felt like we became more defensive, I think because we had a lead,” said Valencia senior Madi White.

It didn’t seem to help the Vikings that Valencia’s numbers started getting thinned by injuries.

McCain, Hannah Hicks and Nicolette Smith all left the game to injury at various points.

With 12 minutes left in regulation, Vikings freshman Logan Byam-Taylor got the nod to fill in for McCain, who went down after a rough collision.

“We brought (Byam-Taylor) up from JV, and I don’t think she was expecting to play,” O’Connell said. “But for her to do that well in a high-pressure situation was amazing.”

Byam-Taylor finished the game strong for the Vikings, recording six saves and flawless play through the game’s final 32 minutes, including two 10-minute overtime periods.

But Valencia couldn’t get enough going on the offensive end, and in the penalty kicks, Laguna Hills took advantage sending the Vikings home early.

It was a tough ending for a group that overcame injuries and low expectations to get where it ended up, after starting 2-3 in Foothill League play early in the season.

The team found a rallying cry, and hasn’t lost a game in regulation since.

“No one really thought that we would get very far,” White said. “But we did it because we were so close as a team. I think they’re definitely going to build on this for next year.

The future is bright for the Vikings, whose eight juniors and several underclassmen played key roles throughout the season.

 

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