Women's Soccer: Pirates denied by Hawks

OCC's season comes to an end, despite battling top-seeded, unbeaten OEC rival in regional playoffs.

November 20, 2012|By Barry Faulkner

ORANGE — In a sport that can defy dominance, Santiago Canyon College consistently dribbles out of the fray of misfortune that can doom even the most superior of women's soccer squads.

The Hawks have won the last nine Orange Empire Conference titles and, during that stretch, have added two state crowns and a pair of state runner-up finishes. All the while, they have compiled a 194-11-15 record for a pristine winning percentage of .916.

Yet, as the scoreless moments stretched on in the second-round game of the California Community College Athletic Assn. Southern California Regional playoffs between Santiago Canyon and visiting Orange Coast on Tuesday, the Pirates' chances of pulling off an upset gained increasing traction.


OCC sophomore sweeper Caitlin Padian continually quelled the top-seeded Hawks' attempts to combine up front, while teammates Sarah MacArthur, Jessica Amaral, Emma Pridmore, Anmarie Moreno, Siobhan O'Toole, Courtney Garrity, Sara Gomez, Kiley Leshin, Cindy Rubio and Shaylen McNulty, hustled and hurtled themselves at rival attackers before and after halftime.

OCC goalie Katelyn O'Bannion was also in position to keep the unbeaten Hawks, who had outscored their 21 previous opponents by a combined 66-8 margin and had been held to fewer than two goals just once in those contests, off the scoreboard, if not out of Pirates' Coach Kevin Smith's craw.

But in the 68th minute, Santiago Canyon found the smallest, momentary crevice in the OCC defense. Sophomore midfielder Bianca Frontino headed a pass from midfield forward into the attacking area and sophomore Jennifer Martin booted it in from the left top of the 18-yard box for the only goal of the day.

The tally sent the Hawks (21-0-1) into Saturday's third round and ended the most successful season in Smith's seven years as head coach.

OCC's 18-4 record included a pair of seven-game winning streaks, both of which ended at Santiago Canyon, a 78-13 cumulative goal advantage, and a serious dose of frustration at the hands of the Hawks.

"I'm proud of the season we had," said Smith, whose No. 9-seeded team surrendered a 15-3 shot advantage on Tuesday. "We only lost to two teams all year, including three times to [Santiago Canyon]. [The loss] is tough, because I think we all had the belief that we could do it and get [the upset]."

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