Girls’ Soccer Tops Favorite; Boys’ NCS Title Hunt Ends

Casey Miller, News Editor

Wednesday night was full of upsets for Campolindo soccer, with the third seed girls’ team beating out top ranked Bishop O’Dowd for a semifinal win, and the 2nd seeded boys’ team losing their home game to 3rd seeded Dublin. Junior A.J. Morgan stepped in for starter goalie Emily Parish to defend nine penalty kicks from Bishop O’Dowd and saved the game for the girls’ team.

Junior Bridget Coleman said that her varsity girls’ team knew it would be a tough fight. “We definitely weren’t expecting an easy win; Bishop O’Dowd has always been a strong competitor and we knew we had to go out there and give it our all and play with our hearts,” she said.

At the girls’ game, heavy rain continued throughout warm-ups and the game. “The weather affected everyone,” said coach Ernesto Silva. “It was a match of perseverance.”

Junior Toni Finnane said, “Despite weather conditions and injuries, we never lost sight of our ultimate goal. Going up in the first half put the championships right at our fingertips.”

While the girls held a 1-0 advantage for the majority of the game, Bishop O’Dowd scored in the last minute to send the match into penalty kicks to decide the outcome.

“When they scored with one minute left in the game, we still refused to let down,” Finnane said.

“We left everything on the field and were up the whole time 1-0, until they scored with 1 minute to go. We couldn’t let that effect our play though and we just stayed calm and pushed through all the way to the end of penalty kicks,” Coleman added.

Coleman named Morgan the most valuable player of the match. Coleman said, “A.J. stepped in as goalie for Emily Parish in the second half, and during the [penalty kicks] she played an incredible game and definitely took on a huge role.”

Coleman believed the game rested on the shoulders of the entire team. “Our defense held strong against their constantly attacking forward line. Overall, it was all of our players that were responsible for the win,” she said.

Finanne added, “We know what we are capable of and are excited to go out and play one last time as a team.”

Back on the Campolindo home field, the boys’ team fell to Dublin 2-0. Difficulty with the weather included a 20 minute lightning delay and pouring rain throughout much of the game. The game ended in tears from the boys, according to junior Michael Samaniego.

“Soccer is already a game where one mistake, one brilliant play or even one inch can decide a game – once you throw in the wind and the rain, luck can become a huge factor,” coach Shane Carney said.

The team’s last game against Dublin was a 2-0 victory on February 11. “We came into the game, with a strategy to sort of delay and let them take their space. Last time we did that. Apparently this time they practiced for that,” Samaniego said.

“The conditions were pretty bad. It screwed us over,” Samaneigo said. However, the lightning delay proved beneficial as it allowed the team to regroup. But the slickness of a wet soccer ball was detrimental to Campolindo’s strategies.

“A lot of our game is on set pieces, like throw-ins and headers, and when the ball is wet you can’t throw it,” Samaniego said.

“I missed a point blank shot, and I basically didn’t sleep last night,” Samaniego said. Junior Preston Kilwein also missed a one-on-one with the goalie in the last minutes of the game, despite almost scoring a goal earlier in the second half.

According to Samaniego, the worst moment was Dublin’s second goal. “It was just like the dagger, and that was it.”

“With 16 seniors leaving and potentially several of the juniors not coming back next year due to club soccer commitments, we will need to reload next season. Many coaches will use the term ‘rebuilding year’ or ‘rebuilding period’, but I think that’s a cop out for the coach and an insult to their players,” Carney said.

“The best moments last night didn’t happen on the field, but rather they happened in the shed after the game when some of the guys shared memories and talked about what the program meant to them,” Carney added.

The season is over for the boys, while the girls will be heading to the NCS championship against Las Lomas on March 1.