Girls’ Soccer CIF Final Recap

Katelyn Osuna, Staff Writer

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March 4, 2017 marked the date of the showdown between the Varsity Mater Dei Girl’s Soccer Team and the Junipero Serra Lions at Corona High School. After an intense game, JSerra acquired the victory through a 5-4 penalty kick shootout.

Throughout the game, both teams struggled to keep possession of the ball. Many fouls were made, giving the offense free kicks that provided scoring opportunities, none of which were successful. Star forward, Hailey Hopkins, used her quick movements and ball skills to get around the defenders, but she was unable to get the ball in the back of the net. Many great shots were taken throughout the first half, but the goalkeepers from Mater Dei and JSerra, both freshman at their respective schools, made impressive saves to keep the score at 0-0.

Coach Matty West was constantly subbing his girls in and out strategically. Lauren Laphen #12, a junior at Mater Dei was the team’s corner kick girl while junior Jordan Moos #27 was subbed in for her long throw-ins. On offense, forwards Hailey Hopkins #7, Lilly Slater #20 and Lynette Romero #14 were interchanged to keep the attack strong and increase their chances of scoring a goal. Another strong asset of the offensive line was senior captain, Faith Harper #11, who used her skills in the midfield to create scoring opportunities for those above her on the field.

With 21 minutes and 52 seconds left in the second half, JSerra’s forward, Isabella D’Aquila #10 took advantage of a solid cross from her teammate, Samantha Williams #16, making a quick strike to find the back of the net. The Monarchs came back strong and while the Lions seemed to have clenched the title, with a minute and 36 seconds left of the second half, Mater Dei’s Lilly Slater #20 scored an amazing goal to tie it up 1-1 and keep the game going.

Both teams battled long and hard through two 10 minute overtime periods. By the end of the second overtime period, Mater Dei was dominating the game, but was unable to score. With the score still at 1-1, penalties were looming.

Both teams lined up at the half-line to go through the nerve-wracking process of a penalty shootout and the two goalkeepers, Ryan Campbell for JSerra and Kelly McManus for Mater Dei, made their way to the goal where the winner of the game would be determined.  

Mater Dei was up first to shoot. Their lineup of shooters consisted of Lynette Romero #14, Emma Clark #15, Lilly Slater #20, Hailey Hopkins #7 and Ju-Ju Ruiz #21. Alternating with JSerra’s Julia Doyle #11, Isabella D’Aquila #10, Samantha Hobert #2, Rachel Bastone #13 and Isabella Beltran #12, all but one goal was made leading JSerra to earn the CIF Southern Section Championship Title with a 5-4 victory in penalty kicks.

It was a good run for the Monarchs and, although they did not win, their devoted student section was still there to cheer them on and remind them of the great work that they did throughout their  season with a record of 12-7-4.