Penalty Kicks Decide NCS Semi-Final

Kevin Fong, Editor-in-Chief

Girls’ soccer lost to Piedmont High in the NCS semi-finals Feb 20. The score was tied at 1 goal each at the end of regulation play.  After two overtime periods, the score remained the same.  The final outcome was decided by penalty kicks, where Piedmont out shot Campo 4 to 1.

Head coach Ernesto Silva wanted the team to push the 1st half, according to team captain and defender Jessica Tuan. She said, “He said play the first half; that’s the only half you have. So I think we should have just put more chances away earlier.”

Goalie Sophie Leksan kept all Piedmont scoring attempts at bay the first half. With 20 minutes to go, a Piedmont forward took a shot but Leksan blocked it with her body, the ball ricocheting away. Although Campo held possession the majority of play, they were not able to score either.

At the half, Silva gathered his team and went over strategy. Team captain and forward defender Shannon Stabler said, “He made the point that it was a tie game, and we had to continue working because we only had 40 minutes left.”

Piedmont scored first in the second half. Then Stabler passed to center midfielder Emmy Melkonian for Campo’s goal.  The second half concluded with the teams knotted at 1-1. The following period was 10 minutes long, with the first to score awarded the win.

Neither team scored and the game went into a second 10 minute overtime period. Still with no change in score, the game was decided by penalty kicks. Each team got 5 chances.

Although disappointed, Silva was happy with the effort. He said, “I thought we played our hearts out. I thought that Piedmont did probably exactly what they were hoping to do in order to stop our movement of the ball.”

Stabler said, “I think we came out really strong and we played tough the entire game. We couldn’t score which was a bummer, but I think we played our toughest and it was just not our outcome.”

Silva added, “You know, when you get to the end like this, and it’s a tight game, it’s anybody’s game. When you get to PK’s and it’s an unfortunate way to finish a game. And this time it didn’t fall our way.”

Highlights of the girls’ season include an undefeated league record and the closeness of the team, according to Tuan. She said, “We just tried to include everyone, like the freshman, sophomores.” She added that she wanted to “make sure that everyone had a fun time while still focusing on the goals ahead of us as a team.”

Silva also noticed how close the team became. “The highlight for this particular team is how quickly they became a team. You know, there are kids which come from various different club teams and they play year round with different people and for them all to come in and so quickly become a unit. That to me was one of the highlights of the season; that they were a good bunch to coach. It was really fun to come out to every training session.” He added, “We had probably one of the most successful seasons that Campolindo has had at least since I’ve been here in 11 years.”

Both Tuan and Stabler are proud of their team. Stabler said, “This season has been the best I’ve had at Campo and it’s been a pleasure to play with all the girls and I’m really going to miss it.”

Tuan said, “I’m really proud of this team. I had such a fun time. It’s an unforgettable season. I’ll miss the team.”