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Women's Soccer: Pirates familiar prey for Hawks

OCC takes No. 2-seeded Santiago Canyon into OT, but is eliminated for third straight year by OEC rival.

November 30, 2013|By Barry Faulkner

ORANGE — Internet directions to the Santiago Canyon Community College campus end with a left turn on Trails End. Recent history would suggest that Orange Coast College women's soccer coach Kevin Smith considers the command more foreshadowing than coincidence.

For the third straight season, OCC was eliminated from the Southern California Regional playoffs by the host Hawks, who have a history of mastery over the Pirates that spans well beyond the scope of Smith's memory.

This time, No. 2-seeded Santiago Canyon (20-1-2), which won its 10th consecutive Orange Empire Conference championship this season, won state titles in 2009 and 2006 and reached the state final the previous two seasons, as well as 2007, posted a 3-0 triumph in overtime.

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The No. 11-seeded Pirates (14-5-4), who finished second in the OEC for the second straight year, battled the Hawks to a scoreless deadlock through 90 minutes of regulation, before the dam broke in overtime.

Santiago Canyon opened the scoring in the second minute of the first of two 15-minute overtime periods and led, 2-0, before the second overtime began. The Hawks added a goal on a penalty kick in the 115th minute and finished with a 28-10 advantage in shots.

OCC sophomore goalkeeper Emily Harrier made 16 saves, including 13 in regulation that helped keep the Pirates in the hunt.

But while Santiago Canyon had the bulk of the scoring chances, OCC had its share of shots that took the breath away from both fan bases.

"Our keeper made some saves; [a field player] blocked a ball off the goal line and we have a couple of chances that we hit off the crossbar [and goal post]," Smith said. "I think this team has done well to get to this point and gave themselves a chance to win the game, especially in regulation. I think we needed today to win in regulation."

The need was amplified by the toll of injuries to six key players this season, including two starters that were unavailable on Saturday and another who went down in the opening minutes on a hard fall and did not return. The physical demands of a third straight overtime playoff contest also did not work in the fatigued Pirates' favor.

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