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Women's Soccer: OCC outlasts Pierce

Pirates score in final minute of second OT to force PKs, then advance in SoCal regionals.

November 26, 2013|By Barry Faulkner

The soccer gods sometimes award the opportunists more than the oppressors, but Orange Coast College benefited from being a little of both to advance past Los Angeles Pierce on Tuesday into the third round of the Southern California Regional playoffs.

The No. 11-seeded Pirates (13-3-5) posted a 23-8 shot advantage and controlled play approximately 85% of the 120 minutes of regulation and overtime. But after 119-plus minutes, the hosts, down, 1-0, had Coach Kevin Smith mentally polishing his hard-luck-loser postgame speech.

But freshman forward Shelle Zito volleyed in a left-footed blast from near the top of the 18-yard box to create a 1-1 tie and force penalty kicks.

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In PKs, OCC nailed its first four with authority, then watched Brahmas freshman defender Stefany Soto bounce one off the crossbar to leave the window to victory wide open.

OCC sophomore defender Anmarie Moreno, the Orange Empire Conference Player of the Year, then kissed one off the bottom of the crossbar that bounced backward from just outside the goal line, back over the plane and into the net, before Pierce goalkeeper Jenna Koziol could attempt to bat it clear. A diving Koziol did get a piece of the ball with her left hand, but she merely pushed it against the left inside edge of the net. Officials said it was across the goal line before she touched it, creating a 5-3 PK advantage and ending the match, which will count as a tie.

OCC's reward is a third-round date on Saturday at OEC champion and No. 2-seeded Santiago Canyon (19-1-2), which has outscored opponents, 82-11, this season and has eliminated the Pirates from the playoffs each of the last two years. The time of the match has yet to be determined.

It was the second straight game decided after regulation for OCC, which got past host Ventura with an overtime goal on Saturday.

The two 15-minute overtime periods are played in their entirety, regardless of whether goals are scored.

OCC had roughly 40 seconds left in the second overtime on Tuesday, before Zito made the most of yet another of the Pirates' numerous scoring chances.

"My coach has been telling me to take more shots and take more chances, because he said I haven't been selfish enough," said Zito, whose eight goals rank second on the team. "I looked up for a quick second and I saw where the keeper was. I said, 'You know what? I'm just going to go for it.'

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