Loss in penalties crushes girls’ soccer’s title hopes

By Michael Aronson

A shot slipped past goalie Reba Magier ’12 into the bottom left corner, and the girls’ soccer team’s season came to a close in the CIF quarterfinals. The Wolverines fell to San Clemente Friday in a 4-3 penalty shootout after they were tied 1-1 at the end of regulation and overtime.

The Wolverines got off to an early lead with a goal from Mackenzie Howe ’14 in the 8th minute, but San Clemente equalized off a free kick that sailed over Magier’s head just before the end of the first half.

Captain Danielle Duhl ’12 and McKynzie Dickman ’14 each suffered injuries in the match. Head Coach Richard Simms said the injuries seriously hurt the girls’ chances of beating San Clemente, which is the seventh best team nationally according to the Powerade FAB 50 rankings.

Neither team scored for the rest of regulation, but Cami Chapus ’12 and Howe each missed open opportunities to score late in the game. 

Both teams’ defenses stepped up in the 20-minute sudden death overtime as no goals were scored.

Hannah Lichtenstein ’13 put away the first penalty to give the Wolverines a one-goal advantage in the shootout. Fans erupted as Magier saved a slow-moving shot down the middle, then both teams exchanged goals until it was tied at 3-3. Howe was set to kick as the sixth kicker for the Wolverines in what became a sudden death shootout.

Howe’s high-flying shot soared over the crossbar, and San Clemente countered with a goal that narrowly snuck between Magier’s outstretched arms and the left post.

“It was a game that could have gone either way,” Simms said. “We were defending more that they were defending, but when we were attacking we were creating scoring chances. The goalkeeping was fantastic in this game by both teams. We had a lot of young players that had a lot of pressure on them because of the situation, so this was a learning experience and I’m excited for the future for these girls.”

Girls were in tears and consoled each other on the field after the hard-fought game. They all had “JCS” written on their hands, and wore purple ribbons in their hair in honor of Julia Siegler ’14, who was killed in a car accident two years ago Sunday.

The loss ended the girls’ 13-game unbeaten streak in regular season play.

“I have never been more proud of a group of players,” Simms said. “They played 100 minutes today with our best player [Duhl] hurt for most of the game, and we still played 60 more minutes to keep one of the best teams in the country from scoring. For us to hang in there with them was an achievement.”

To view photos from the game, click here.