WSoc: Vaqueros fall in PK shootout

By Ryan Graff
SBCC Sports Information

The SBCC women’s soccer team’s first=round match of SoCal Regionals on Saturday night against Rio Hondo at La Playa Stadium can be summed up by one fact: even the penalty kicks went to sudden death.

After 120 minutes — regulation plus two 15-minute overtime periods — of scoreless play between the WSC North-champion Vaqueros and the Foothill Conference co-champion Roadrunners followed by both teams hitting the back of the net on four-out-of-five PK tries, Hannah Martin found herself on the PK line with a chance to boost No. 4 Santa Barbara over No. 13 Rio Hondo and into the semifinals against No. 5 San Diego Miramar.

But the 5-10 midfielder found out in heartbreaking fashion that soccer is a game of inches. Martin’s attempt seemed destined to sneak in under the crossbar, but Roadrunner goalkeeper Christina Olguin managed to get both hands on the shot and deflect the ball over the top of the net. She also was inserted with two minutes to go.

Moments later, Rio Hondo’s Courtney Gonzalez snuck her attempt past a sprawling Kasey Jensen — who was substituted into the match with under two minutes left to play — allowing the Roadrunners to escape with a 5-4 decision.

The scoreless draw at the end of double-overtime was certainly not due to a lack of chances.

SBCC’s Emily Erwin made an incredible defensive stop in the 26th, clearing a deflection off keeper Karin Nordin that would have found the twine. And Rio Hondo’s Alexis Marinero blasted a shot off the post in the 43rd.

Santa Barbara’s Chiara Kehl nearly went upper-90 with a pair of free kicks in the 72nd and 83rd minutes. Starting goalkeeper Katelyn Oshima bobbled and almost let the first sneak through, and Vaquero leading scorer Kaitlyn Crooker just misseda follow-up chance off the second.

On a night when she thwarted five shots on target, Nordin made her most emphatic save halfway through the first overtime period, diving to her right to prevent the Roadrunners from scoring the decisive goal.

Sarah Jimenez, Laura Romero, Jackie Hollmer and Kehl converted their respective penalty kicks on the first, second, fourth and fifth attempts for the Vaqs. Tavara Zachert-Johnson drew post on the third before Martin missed the sixth. Jensen made a diving save on the lone Roadrunner miss.

The Vaqueros, who claimed the WSC North title with a 9-0-3 record, finish their season at 14-3-5 overall.