Estancia Excessive lastly bulled its method into the primary draw of the CIF Southern Part women’ soccer playoffs Monday, closing a day of frustration with a gritty objective within the closing moments of a Division 6 wildcard showdown at Los Amigos. It introduced pleasure, however extra so reduction.
The ninth-ranked Eagles might need put away a half-dozen strikes on one other day, however struggles shifting the ball on unfamiliar turf, inconsistencies that accompany inexperience, and terrific performances alongside Los Amigos’ again line saved issues even till they weren’t.
Jana Akins delivered the 1-0 triumph, knocking dwelling a feed throughout the objective line from fellow freshman Vanessa Pastrana, about two minutes into second-half stoppage time. It was Estancia’s seventeenth shot, to only two by the Lobos, and sixteenth reliable scoring alternative. Los Amigos had none.
“We talked about it at halftime, that it doesn’t matter how we rating,” mentioned Eagles head coach Josh Juarez, whose workforce treks to Antelope Valley for a first-round sport Wednesday at Heritage League champion Palmdale Aerospace Academy (9-3-0). “It could possibly be an unpleasant objective, it doesn’t matter. Not that that was an unpleasant objective, however that was simply touching the ball past the road.”
Whether or not Akins obtained the final contact isn’t sure. Pastrana, who with junior winger Ana Pacheco steered Estancia’s assault, took a feed on the correct flank from sophomore Grace Boyce, beat two defenders on the again line and despatched the ball to the goalmouth, the place Akins battled with defender Valeria Olague. The ball arrived, after which it was within the internet.
“I believe I, like, ran into her, and he or she flicked [the ball] in a bit,” Akins mentioned. “I believe I touched it a bit.”
Regardless of the mechanics, it felt good.
“We had been type of careworn,” Akins mentioned, “as a result of we thought we’d should go extra time.”
Pastrana mentioned she needed to alter her offensive strategy.
“I attempted to tackle [defenders], but it surely didn’t work fairly as effectively [as desired],” Pastrana mentioned. “So the final likelihood I had, I gave an help to Jana.”
Sophomore goalkeeper Carmen Hernandez made six saves for Los Amigos (9-8-2).
“[Los Amigos] defended effectively, and their goalkeeper did an incredible job maintaining all the things out,” Juarez mentioned. “It was actually a committee of gamers to attempt to put on down their protection … an total workforce effort to search out that objective. I really feel prefer it was the entire workforce simply prepared that ball to get throughout the road.”
Olague and fellow senior Anahi Damian had been pivotal in stopping Estancia (7-6-4) from turning possibilities into one thing extra, however Los Amigos struggled to attach in midfield and going ahead, regardless of the very best efforts of junior Alexandra Castelan and senior Heidi Perez.
Estancia was higher with the ball, and higher within the second half, with freshman Kimberly Muñoz and sophomore Kate Jennis maintaining the ball shifting in midfield and Suly Alvarez offering priceless hold-up play. The bumpy grass discipline was an impediment — the Eagles’ solely different sport on grass this season was a 3-0 win at Los Amigos in December — and a younger lineup labored to take advantage of area behind the Lobos’ again line.
There was alternative, however the Eagles got here shut simply a few occasions: within the tenth minute, when senior ahead Kayden Vazquez fired excessive from Pacheco’s spark off Muñoz’s by way of ball; and within the 68th, when Pastrana volleyed extensive on the proper publish after Estephanie Lomas stripped a defender close to the correct nook.
The win got here at a worth. Pacheco suffered a head harm on a fierce duel within the sixty fourth minute and went to a hospital after the sport, and Juarez later mentioned she’d doubtless should undergo concussion protocol earlier than returning. She’ll miss Wednesday’s sport and sure a second-round match if Estancia advances, he mentioned.
Los Amigos head coach Cassidy Abad wasn’t displeased along with her workforce’s play.
“The opposite workforce had far more alternatives in entrance of the objective, and we held them off for nearly that total sport …,” she mentioned. “Loads of the ladies in our program are simply studying the game, so for them to carry off a few of these gamers which have much more expertise than them, they shouldn’t be dissatisfied in how they carried out.”
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