Overtime thriller propels women’s soccer to final four

Sebastian Echeverry

In a heart stopping match, the Cerritos College women’s soccer team stole a last minute victory in overtime against San Diego Miramar College with a score of 3-2, advancing it to the final four.

Sophomore center forward Claudia Lopez rose to the call of duty as she slotted the last possible chance Cerritos College had to win and avoid the penalty shootout.

Dodging the nerve racking bullet that is a penalty shoot out Head coach Ruben Gonzalez and his squad breathe life once more into the odyssey to the state championship.

“This is what we have been preparing for all year,” coach Gonzalez said. “We have been, we were scouted well, they did a good job and you got to give them credit.”

Gonzalez was aware that the San Diego Jets did their homework and really worked the Falcons.

“You have to give our ladies credit,” he went on to say. “They stepped it up after being down 2-1 in that first half.”

Even after long hours of training, orders being given from the side lines and playbooks studied, in the end, it’s up to the eleven on the pitch to win the match.

The first to strike were the Falcons as they ran the ball down the line with a cross to the center finished by a headed goal to the back of the net. Not only thirty seconds went by when the Jets’ response equalize in almost the exact same way.

Freshman forward Nayeli Requejo believes the only thing left to do is prepare mentally for the challenge ahead. Physical working of the body is not the main concern.

“Its hard not to get anxious,” Requejo said. “I just tell myself ‘I know we can do it’ and I believe in myself and I believe in my teammates.”

In the thirty-sixth minute of the first half the Jets scored a second goal making it 1-2 in the first half. The Falcons, scrambled to equalize and in the second half and the goal came when confusion in San Diego’s goal mouth cloaked the falcons to trickle the ball just over the goal line making it 2-2 and launching the game into overtime.

Overtime could be described as physical as players began kicking more than just the ball. In swift counter Claudia Lopez shot a screamer past the grip of the keeper keeping the team away from the penalties.

“I guess it was all mental in the beginning because we were down 2-1,” Claudia Lopez said. “We had to get all the ladies together, and tell them that ‘its not over and we still have forty-five minutes left to finish this.’”

“We have to stay positive,” Lopez said. “Believe that we can come back.”

Lopez never gave up on her fellow teammates and their hard work paid off in the end.

The team now travels to Cosumnes River, San Fransisco to face off against the other three teams in the CCCAA state championships.