By Patrick Cochran
It was a gut wrenching defeat. The Rams played at their hardest for 120 minutes against Sierra, but even that wasn’t enough to avert a 2-1 defeat in the second-round playoff game.
Sucumbing to a goal scored on a penatlty kick in the first of two 15 minute overtimes, it was a rough way to end a successful season. Sierra player Amanda Susbilla nailed the ball into the top right of the net. Ram’s goalkeeper Jocelyn Amable, who otherwise played a great game in net and did a good job of keeping her teammates together on defense, expected the ball to go to the other side of the net so was nowhere near the ball when it went in.
During both overtimes, and also regular time, the Rams had numerous near goals. Shots would be to high, too far to the right or left, or simply Sierra’s goalie would make a remarkable save.
“It was a tough loss for sure,” said head coach Gabe Saucedo. “The whole team felt we created enough opportunities for us to win, but the ball didn’t balance our way.”
The Rams had valiantly fought back in the second half to tie up the game, after trailing 1-0 at intermission.
Cassie Stansberry scored the goal that tied it up in the game’s 71 minute. The Rams were awarded a corner kick that sailed right in front of the net, after a couple of missed shots that balanced back to the Rams, Stansberry got the ball on the rebound after a missed shot and proceeded to kick the ball in low to the ground and got it past the goalkeeper.
“I think we played to our fullest potential. We never loss on our home field all season, and to loose I don’t have words,” said Stansberry. “We began the season as underdogs, and to end up here was big. We are the ratched Rams.”
Next year’s squad should expect to be good also. Key freshman like Alejandra Sanchez, Katrina Voris, and Brenda Flores return for the Rams. The team will certainly miss though the skills and leadership the sophomore class, lead by plays like Stansberry and Hannah Mikles, were able to provide.
Although it was a disappointing way to end an otherwise accomplished season, the team has a number of things to be happy about.
“We won the Coast Conference, made it to the second round, and only had two losses all season,” said coach Saucedo. “We have a lot to be proud of.”