Shootout loss ends season for Lake Tahoe CC women’s soccer
UKIAH, Calif. — The Lake Tahoe Community College women’s soccer team had its first-ever playoff game decided with a shootout — and the Coyotes came up just short. Tenth-seeded Lake Tahoe lost to seventh-seeded Mendocino College 5-4 in penalty kicks in the first round of the CCCAA NorCal Regional playoffs last Saturday, suffering a season-ending loss in narrow fashion.
“It was a really good game — it was a back-and-forth battle,” Coyotes head coach Christian DeLeon said. “Mendocino had their opportunities and we had our opportunities — it could have gone either way.”
A back-and-forth contest played out on a sloppy, wet pitch Saturday — and the match remained scoreless after regulation and two overtime periods. In the shootout, the first eight kicks were converted before Lake Tahoe (10-6-5) hit a shot off the post — Mendocino (19-3) scored on the next attempt to send the Coyotes to defeat.
“It just comes down to those PKs,” DeLeon said. “We hit the post, and they made theirs.”
LTCC had a majority of the chances against the Bay Valley League runner-up, but couldn’t find the back of the net. Coyotes forward Tianna Carrington had a pair of breakaway opportunities — including one called back by a foul away from the play.
“There were some questionable calls on both sides,” DeLeon said. “The ref blew his whistle a few too many times and stopped the flow of the game both ways — that was frustrating.”
In overtime, Lake Tahoe continued to control possession. Mendocino protected its goal with a defensive-minded approach, and kept the Coyotes out to force the shootout.
“The other team was getting tired more quickly and they just packed in the box,” DeLeon said. “Trying to break through their defense with eight players inside the 18-yard box was kind of tough — shots would just get blocked.”
In the shootout, LTCC missed only one penalty kick — but it was enough to keep them from advancing. Sloppy conditions played a big role with the match on the line — after pitching a shutout in regulation and overtime, Coyotes goalkeeper Alejandra Orozco couldn’t come up with a stop in the shootout.
“AO wasn’t able to get her feet underneath her,” DeLeon said. “She would go to the right or left, and they were just shooting it right down the middle.”
For Lake Tahoe, the defeat brought an end to its inaugural campaign. The Coyotes went 6-2-1 to close the regular season, and finished second in the Golden Valley Conference — the program’s postseason debut closed a stellar first season.
“It’s all on the girls — they did a great job and I couldn’t ask for a better group of hard workers that were willing to sacrifice a lot of things for the better of the team,” DeLeon said. “We got better as the season went on and put all the pieces in the right place.”
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