Ibarra’s late goal lifts Dons over San Marcos

Sylvia Ibarra scored the game-winner for the Santa Barbara girls. (Vince Agapito photo)

After seeing shots slam off the crossbar or get gobbled up by San Marcos goalkeeper Hannah Ball for most of the game, Santa Barbara found an opening in the last three minutes and Sylvia Ibarra buried the ball to give the Dons a 1-0 win at La Playa Stadium on Tuesday night.

Ibarra got a fortuitous bounce and beat Ball with a shot to the goalkeeper’s right.

“I thought we weren’t going to bet one past her,” Ibarra said. “She’s a good goalie.”

It was the first victory of the year for the Dons (1-6-3), and it couldn’t come at a better time. The result evened their record at 1-1 in Channel League play.

“The girls are excited to get over the edge,” said Santa Barbara coach Brian Lloyd.

The Dons controlled the run of play but San Marcos kept them at bay behind the play of Ball and a scrambling defense.

“I think our girls played hard,” San Marcos assistant coach Brenna Zimmerman said. “Our back four played incredible, and Hannah played incredible. There’s only so much you can do when a team is flying at you like that.”

“They have two great goalkeepers, so we knew finishing was going to be tough,” Lloyd said. “We talked about getting the ball into the corners and making her dive to the ground, and we didn’t do a very good job of it for the most part.”

But Lloyd was confident his team could get the job done.

“Talking at halftime, we felt like we were playing well enough to win,” he said.

San Marcos fell to 2-5-3 and 0-2 in Channel League.

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