Del Oro soccer loses playoff opener in OT to Napa, 2-1By: Jeremy McDonald / Special to the Journal
LOOMIS — It took 100 minutes, but eventually the Napa-Del Oro CIF-Sac-Joaquin Section Div. II playoff match was settled.
Jason Soriano scored the game-winner with three minutes left in the second overtime period, propelling the No. 14 Indians into the second round with a 2-1 win at third-seeded Del Oro Tuesday night.
“Extremely disappointing,” Golden Eagles coach Matt Scammacca said of the game. “Extremely, extremely, extremely disappointing. They had a couple of chances to score earlier. We weathered the storm a little bit. Napa fought hard. They're a good team. They're coached well. They played good soccer.
“At first, we were nervous, then we started to play better. I don’t think played we extremely well, though.”
Coming off an emotional end to regulation that saw Enrique Polio tie the game up at 1-1 for Napa, both sides went into the two mandatory 10-minute overtime periods looking to break the tie.
In the 97th minute, Soriano scored the game-winning goal off a dribbler as Del Oro goalkeeper Kiefer Lowry couldn't adjust. Del Oro (11-4-3) couldn't land a tying goal despite two corner kicks in the final three minutes.
“They controlled the pace of the game, they were better,” said Del Oro’s Gustav Andersson. “We had a goal and we gave them the goal. We couldn’t get back into the game after that.”
With less than a minute in regulation, a controversial call off a corner kick resulted in a Jesus Meza penalty kick that finally put the Indians on the board.
“(The referee) made a last second call in stoppage time and the player that was foul ‘per se’ was actually not in the play,” Lowry said. “It was a corner kick and he wasn’t going to the goal and that threw the game for us. It made it 1-1 off a PK.”
Prior to the penalty kick the Eagles settled in, going blow-by-blow with Napa with the intensity and playoff atmosphere creating a dangerous combination of emotions resulting in three yellow cards and eight fouls combined in the second frame with 12 minutes remaining.
Del Oro's defense used some great footwork to intercept the Indians’ attack and five second-half saves by Lowry to keep Napa off the board late in the second half.
Pressuring Lowry, the Indians (10-5-5) were inspired to try and score early and get the ball rolling in their direction, winning the 50-50 battles and finding holes in the Eagles’ defense within the first 15 minutes of the game.
But behind three Lowry saves and a strong backline, Del Oro manage to grab some defensive confidence with its offense slowly finding its own.
“We came out hard at the beginning,” Lowry said. “Then they picked up the tempo up and we tried to hang with them in the second half of the first half.”
By the 29th minute, it was the Eagles who broke the scoreless tie when Andersson slipped one by the right corner of the goal.
But Napa found a second wind following the Andersson goal. Using their speed and winning the battle to the ball, the Indians resumed their pressure on the Del Oro but couldn't tie the game before halftime.