Colfax as close as it can get
COLFAX — The Colfax High soccer team experienced the joy of a friendly bounce off the goalpost Tuesday afternoon and then 30 minutes later, the agony of an unkind crossbar.
Senior Iona Lofrano’s blast from 25 yards out glanced off the inside of the right post with just seven minutes left to give Colfax a tying goal in its Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoff contest against Rodriguez.
After 20 minutes of scoreless overtime action, the Mustangs outlasted the Falcons in a grueling penalty kick shootout. Colfax’s final shot ricocheted off the crossbar. Rodriguez’s Azucena Pelayo buried the clinching shot in a 4-3 win. The Mustangs beat the Falcons in the playoffs for a second straight season.
“We were ready. We played a great game,” said Colfax coach Lefty Wilks, whose team finished the year 16-2-2. “In my opinion we were the better team.”
Colfax had the better attack for much of the game, but Rodriguez proved to be dangerous with Kaitlin Christ’s long throw-ins and a speedy front line. The Mustangs went on top in the 12th minute when Alexandria Johnson converted a shot through a crowd in the penalty box. Colfax answered in the 29th minute when senior Celeena Wall broke free after a nice pass from Savannah Newman. Wall sped behind the defense and buried a shot in the left corner to tie it.
Rodriguez put the pressure on again midway through the second half when Hannah Ducioame pounced on a loose ball in the box and fired it into the net. Lofrano’s beautiful shot 13 minutes later forced overtime, and in turn, the shootout.
“In the shootout there’s so much pressure,” Wall said. “You just have to think about whatever you can do to score, but it’s really emotional.”
Colfax was hoping to avenge a disappointing 5-0 loss to Rodriguez in last year’s playoff opener. The Falcons answered the Mustangs’ physical play and their defense was tremendous as senior Kate Bianchi fought through an ankle injury. Junior Brittany Thomas and sophomore Sophie Satterlee were excellent alongside Newman.
Colfax had 16 shutouts on the season and gave up just eight goals in 20 games. The Falcons were ranked No. 10 in California by MaxPreps and won a second straight Pioneer Valley League title.
“Collectively it’s just an awesome group of kids,” Wilks said.
Wall said there was a sense of urgency Tuesday and she was proud of the way her team battled against a much bigger school. Rodriguez, located in Fairfield, has a listed enrollment of 2,234. Colfax has 855.
“We wanted sections so bad after last year,” Wall said. “We came out so hard. We played really well and I think we played better than them, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes.”
Del Oro 4, Oakmont 0 at Loomis — The Golden Eagles soared into the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II semifinals, breaking the game open in the second half.
Lauren Gullnick scored two goals while Kaleigh Landberg added one goal and one assist to spark Del Oro (8-0-7). Jordan McDaniel added one goal. Marisa Grattan and Kacey Crane had assists for the Eagles.
Kelly Edwards and Taylor Cirksena teamed up at goalkeeper in the shutout.
Del Oro will host Casa Roble Thursday at 7 p.m. with the winner advancing to Saturday’s championship game at Cosumnes Oaks High School.
Forest Lake 2, Golden Sierra 0 at Lake of the Pines — The Falcons advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI semifinals.
Forest Lake, the No. 1 seed from the Central Valley Christian League, will host Vacaville Christian on Thursday at 3:30 p.m.
Aly English and Morghan Koch provided the offense on Tuesday. English converted on an assist from Koch in the ninth minute to give the Falcons a 1-0 lead. English returned the favor in the second half, feeding Koch for an insurance goal in the 71st minute.
Forest Lake coach Trenton Mol credited Cassidy Green for her outstanding defensive play. Stephanie Herron got the shutout in goal.