After winning the program’s seventh consecutive conference championship and dropping just two matches throughout the regular season, the College of the Canyons women’s soccer season came to an abrupt halt on Saturday afternoon.
No. 2 seed Canyons (17-2-1, 8-0) was not able to net a single goal through regulation and overtime, eventually dropping a 4-2 decision in penalty kicks to No. 15 L.A. Pierce College (13-5-4, 6-2) in the first round of the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Southern California Regional Playoffs.
The Cougars had the first scoring opportunity of the game at the seven minute mark when Alondra Solis found space inside the box, but her shot went just wide of the post. That play was a microcosm for things to come as every shot from the Cougars seemed to either miss the mark or went directly into the waiting hands of Pierce goalkeeper Briana Jacobo.
In the 18th minute, Esmeralda Guzman of the Brahmas found space on a runout but was met by Cougars’ goalie Jordan Burrow near the top of the box for a sprawling save.
Just one minute later, Pierce took a corner and Nichole Evans’ flying header banged off the far post, preserving the scoreless tie.
With just over 20 minutes left in the half, Kylia Bradford received a pass from Solis and fired a left footed shot that found its way to Jacobo’s arms.
Bradford had another scoring chance with two minutes remaining in the half but her flying header drifted over the crossbar as the two teams entered halftime in a scoreless tie.
The first scoring chance of the second half occurred in the 54th minute when Angel Quintero dropped a perfect pass to Crystal Sanchez but her one-timer sailed high over the bar.
With 29 minutes left, Emily Aguilar’s header appeared destined for the net but was saved by Jacobo.
With 20 minutes left in the game, Sanchez fired a shot from the top of the box that was blocked into the waiting foot of Bradford who fired a one-timer that was also blocked as the Pierce defense held strong.
Two minutes later, Gisell Cruz of Pierce maneuvered around a charging Burrow and appeared to have an opening for the game’s first goal. But the shot drifted just wide of the open goal.
The Cougars had a fantastic scoring opportunity with just over 12 minutes left when Bradford made a spinning move in the box and fired a left-footed missile that was saved by a diving keeper.
The Cougars’ defense held strong with under two minutes left as Pierce took a free kick that was knocked down but they were able to fire another shot that was saved by goalkeeper Emily Ozanich who had subbed in for the injured Burrow.
Neither team was able to find the back of the net in regulation and the match went to overtime still scoreless.
The first scoring opportunity of the overtime period occurred with just over three minutes left as Sanchez fired a left-footed shot that was blocked the keeper.
Bradford had another scoring opportunity for the Cougars early in the second overtime period but her blast went right into the hands of the keeper.
One minute later, Solis fired a shot that banged off the crossbar.
Neither team was able to manufacture any other scoring opportunities as the contest would ultimately be decided by penalty kicks.
Pierce: Gisell Cruz – Goal
Canyons: Alondra Solis – Goal
Pierce: Layla Bravo over the crossbar – No Goal
Canyons: Alexa Thornblad wide right – No Goal
Pierce: Jennifer Veliz – Goal
Canyons: Ciera Crawford – Goal
Pierce: Esmelda Guzman – Goal
Canyons Kylia Bradford – Blocked
Pierce: Kerian Neal – Goal
With the victory, Pierce advances to the second round of the CCCAA Regional Playoffs vs. San Bernardino Valley College.
Stay up to date on all this season’s action by following the College of the Canyons Athletic department on social media at @COCathletics on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.
— Brandon Johnson/COC Sports Information
—Photo credit Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information