College of the Canyons women’s soccer team lost its second round CCCA SoCal Regional matchup on a heartbreaking penalty kick loss against Cypress College at Cougar Stadium.
The Cougars lost 3-1 in the penalty kick shootout after a last-minute goal by freshman forward Marissa Kneisel in the second extra time period tied the game at 3-3.
The game’s furious finish was fitting, since the entire match lived up to its billing as a second round playoff matchup.
The first half saw chances from both teams, but neither side were able to net a first half goal. The Cougars had the most opportunities, outshooting Cypress 5-1 in the first half.
In the second half, both teams entered the score sheet via penalty kick. Cypress scored first in the 50th minute, but the Cougars responded right back in the 56th minute, as Brooklyn Stevens scored her third goal of the season to tie the game at 1-1.
The Cougars would go down a player in the 76th minute when Natalie Mitchell was carded for the second time in the match earning her a red card. The Cougars would play with 10 players for the rest of the game.
The second half ended with the score tied at 1-1, which meant that two 15-minute halves would be played for overtime to determine a winner.
The first overtime period saw the Cougars on their heels being down a player, but Marissa Kneisel broke through for a chance and gave the Cougars a 2-1 lead in the 104th minute of the match. It was Kneisel’s 19th goal on the season.
Cypress would equalize just before the first overtime whistle, and after the first overtime period, the teams were knotted at 2-2.
The second overtime period saw more dramatics.
The Cougars found themselves down again to the Chargers, after Kendra Serrano’s second goal of the game put Cypress up 3-2 with less than 10 minutes to go in the match.
The Cougars would need some late-game magic — especially while playing at a 11-10 player disadvantage — and they certainly found it in the form of leading-scorer Marissa Kneisel.
In the closing seconds, just as Cypress were ready to celebrate, Kneisel scored her second goal of the game, just in time to keep the Cougars alive in the playoff matchup.
Kneisel’s 20th goal of the season gave the Cougars a shot to advance via a penalty kick shootout – the best thing a team down a player can hope for.
In the penalty shootout, Brooklyn Stevens scored the first penalty kick to tie the shootout at 1-1. In the second round of kicks, both teams missed their attempts to keep the score tied at 1-1.
In the third round, Cypress’ Elizabeth Sanchez put her kick past COC goalkeeper Katelyn Martinez to go up 2-1. The Cougars had a chance to keep pace but could not find the net again.
With the Cougars down 3-1 in the shootout, COC’s Taylor Sclimenti had her final kick turned away and the Cougars would be knocked out of the CCCAA playoffs.
The Cougars end the 2014 season with a 16-2-4 overall record, while claiming a fourth straight Western State Conference South championship.