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Prep soccer: Cards notch program first

SCCS girls top Frazier Mountain in PKs for landmark victory

Posted: February 18, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: February 18, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

Natalie Keoshian was jumping up and down and moving in every which direction — and that was during the game.

That’s the “intimidation” strategy Keoshian used to stop a penalty kick in Santa Clarita Christian’s 1-1 (4-3) win in PKs over Frazier Mountain of Lebec on Thursday at the Glendale Sports Complex in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division VII playoffs.

The result marked SCCS’ first postseason win in the program’s nine-year history.

“It’s a pretty amazing feeling,” Keoshian said. “Just the whole fact that we had to play through overtime for 20 minutes and it came down to PKs. It was really nerve-racking.”

It was Frazier Mountain’s first PK attempt that sailed over the top cross bar that proved the difference.

“It feels like we just keep moving in the right direction,” said SCCS head coach Matt Gale. “No more one-goal losses. No more losses in the first round. We finally got over that hump.”

The pressure was on the Cardinals (13-7-1) early after they fell behind 1-0 in the 25th minute and lost their leading scorer and center midfielder, Joanna Masopust, at around the same point in the game.

Despite SCCS leading 8-3 in shots-on-goal in the first half, the Falcons (9-13-2) held their lead for most of the game.

“We played the ball out wide really well and they couldn’t do anything about that,” Gale said. “But just missing Joanna in the middle, we had to have other kids fill in for her.”

In the 65th minute, sophomore Colette Blake answered the call, knocking in the equalizer through a crowd inside the box.

The goal was set up by freshman Susannah Gwinn’s short backward pass shortly after Megan Gallagher’s corner kick.

“I wasn’t exactly expecting this team to come out so strong,” Blake said, referring to SCCS’s 1-0 loss to the Falcons on Jan. 6. “Last time we played them, they beat us and it was kind of a perfect storm. We played at a very nice field today. Last time, it was at Canyon Country Park and that field is pretty rocky, and there was a lot of wind.”

Two overtime and four successful PKs later, the Cardinals were headed to the second round, where they’ll face the winner of the Rim of the World-Riverside Christian matchup.

“If we get Joanna back for that game, then anything can happen,” Gale said.

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