Girls soccer CCS: Matadors end season against Carlmont

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Girls soccer CCS: Matadors end season against Carlmont

Yaamini Venkataraman

Senior Jessica Rahn battles against a Carlmont player to get the ball back in the Lady Matadors’ possession during the CCS quarterfinals on Feb. 25 against Carlmont. The Lady Mats played rough and lost in a close game with the score of 1-2. Photo by Elvin Wong.

The Lady Matadors stepped out of their characteristically warm and breezy playing environment into the bitter wind in Pacifica at Terra Nova High School on Saturday Feb. 25. Despite the change, the Matadors proved that no difference in weather could affect their ambitious winning spirit.

Going into the CCS quarterfinals on Feb. 25, the fifth seed Matadors played against fourth seed Carlmont High School. The immense amount of wind greatly impacted the players’ accuracy and performance, but the girls fought to the finish in their last game of the season.

The Matadors (11-5-6) lost 1-2 to Carlmont High School (4-1-3). The Scots scored the first goal of the game in the first half by hitting the left side of the net. However, the Matadors balanced the score during the first three minutes of the second half with a head shot by senior Gabby Ley assisted by junior Mimi Akaogi in a cross. Ultimately, CHS pulled ahead with a second goal off of a struggle from a right-side corner kick in the last two minutes of the game.

“I’m frustrated that I didn’t save the two goals, but I felt that everyone did what they could,” goalkeeper junior Gal Haroush said.

The Lady Matadors kicked off to a strong start. CHS played aggressively but the Matadors were able to defend from any dangerous attempts due to improved communication and strong passes. The girls themselves had a few serious chances at scoring. Just five minutes into the game, junior Casey Kute assisted senior Jessica Rahn in a header, but the shot was too wide to the left. Akaogi, junior Malvika Mecker and sophomore Kelly Ruckstuhl were also able to drive good runs throughout the half but unable to score due to formidable Carlmont defense.

During the last three minutes of the first half, however, CHS was given a corner kick after the Matadors kicked the ball out of bounds. The girls were unable to cover the top of the box and in the scramble, CHS scored their first goal.

“I felt like [the first goal] shouldn’t have happened;we could have cleared the ball out,” Haroush said. “Luckily it was earlier in the game so we had a long time to score so I wasn’t worriedI knew we would come back.”

The Matadors quickly redeemed themselves by scoring a goal just three minutes into the second half. Akaogi crossed near the top of the box and kicked to senior Gabby Ley, who headed the goal into the upper left corner of the net.

As CHS increased their aggressiveness, the ball changed possession frequently. Senior Claire Nastari blocked CHS offense multiple times, stalling their momentum by kicking the ball out of bounds. As the half continued, the Matadors were able to keep the ball on CHS half more often. Nineteen minutes in, Akaogi was able to drive past CHS midfielders and pass to Kute, but Kute was unable to get a shot. The two teams were well-matched as both sides tired and missed passes frequently.

During the last minute of the game, however, the Carlmont girls poked the ball into the goal off of another corner kick as Haroush struggled to regain footing while attempting to save the shot.

In the final remaining seconds, Akaogi drove the ball down the field, giving the Matadors a chance of their own to score off a corner kick. However, a struggle inside the box, which momentarily left Carlmont’s goalkeeper on the ground, proved insufficient in putting in a goal for the Matadors to tie the score. The game, and therefore the Lady Mat’s season, ended with a disappointing but hard-fought loss.

“No one should come off the field with regrets today,” assistant coach Greg Wendschlag said.