By Michael Hall
After an incredible regular season, the City College women’s soccer team was eliminated 2-0 in the third round of the NorCal playoffs by American River College on Nov. 24.
Coming into the game, the Rams were ranked number two in the Northern California and had not lost a game since Sept. 28.
American River College came in as an underdog as Northern California’s sixth ranked team.
The Rams were debatably the best offensive team in the state, but American River had an answer.
The Beavers made four saves in the final two minutes of the first half, and shut out the Rams for the rest of the game.
“They played us with a sweeper defense when most teams played us with a flat-back defense,” Rams assistant coach Ivan Bandov said. “They did a great job being physical on defense, but we just made uncharacteristic mistakes that gave them easy goals.”
Missed opportunities ended up hurting the Rams. They reached the goal box on four possessions in the game but came away with no goals.
The Rams made three steals and moved the ball well in the second half, but the Beaver goalie made one save and their defenders deflected the Rams other two scoring attempts out of bounds.
The Rams’ frustration reached its peak in the final two minutes of the game. American River scored another goal making it 2-0, and took the life out of an energetic crowd.
As the final minute began to tick away, the Rams slowed down their game play, as a three-possession game seemed out of reach and their dream season came to an end.
The shutout was surprising for a Rams team that scored 65 goals coming into the playoffs.
Fans on the sideline complained about fouls not being called, but head coach Gabe Saucedo would not acknowledge it as an issue.
A few of the Rams’ players dropped to the turf with tears in their eyes as American River celebrated the upset victory.
“I told the team to just be proud of what we accomplished this year,” Saucedo said. “ We made mistakes today that we haven’t made all season, and offensively we couldn’t finish. It was just one of those games. I’m going into the off season confident.”
Updated on Dec. 14 to reflect accurate team rankings.