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Hart stalls in the wild card

The Indians struggle to score; defeated in a shootout on the road

Posted: February 18, 2009 1:12 a.m.
Updated: February 18, 2009 4:56 a.m.
 
Two weeks ago, Hart struggled with muddy field conditions in a loss to Canyon.

On Tuesday, the Indians faced the same obstacle – and experienced the same result.

El Dorado of Placentia outscored Hart 3-1 in penalty kicks to earn a physical 1-0 victory in a CIF-Southern Section Division II wild card game at El Dorado High School.

The teams battled to a 0-0 tie through regulation and two 10-minute overtimes.

Hart’s scoring stigma cost the Indians (13-8-2) numerous chances to win the game before penalty kicks.

“We just couldn’t put a ball in the net,” said Hart head coach Mike Gomez. “It was like the entire season for us.”

The wet, muddy conditions didn’t do either team any favors.

The schools had hoped to play the game at a different site but were ultimately denied permission.

Indians goalkeeper Kayce Perkins made several stops to keep El Dorado (14-6-1) off the board.

At the other end, Hart striker Katie Trevino and midfielder Alli Carivau launched shot after shot that fluttered right to El Dorado’s keeper or wide of the mark.

Hart (13-10-2) wasn’t so effective in the first half, when El Dorado adjusted quicker to the pitch and controlled the run of play.

“At halftime, we talked about playing the ball to feet,” Gomez said. “The ball was so heavy, we just couldn’t get the ball chipped up and over their defense. The ball would basically die. Every time we made a pass, the ball would land in the water and not continue to roll.”

The Indians also had to adjust their wide-open attack to the more compact field at El Dorado High School.

“Our strategy was to slow the ball down and open up the field,” Gomez said. “The field was very small.”

Two missed shots to start the penalty kicks session spelled doom for Hart, which loses six seniors off a team that finished 4-5-1 in the Foothill League but consistently challenged the top trio of Canyon, Valencia and Saugus.

“This team goes out and they leave their blood, sweat and tears on the field,” Gomez said. “They don’t stop until that whistle blows. I’ve been in situations with other schools where that’s not the case.

“Going into next season, the loss of those six seniors is going to be quite difficult. They will be missed.”

jgulino@the-signal.com

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