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Pitman girls soccer ends season in the semifinals
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Hannah Delay fights to keep the ball Friday during the semifinal game against Whitney (CANDY PADILLA/The Journal).

The Pitman High varsity girls soccer’s playoff run ended on Friday in the semifinals with a 1-0 loss to Whitney High School.

The week started off with a physical quarterfinal matchup against Vacaville. The Pride were advancing the ball and getting shots at goal, but weren’t able to put the ball in the net. The Pride focused in on their defense to make sure the Bulldogs were not able to get a score of their own.

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Pitman's Valeria Arroyo battles to keep the ball from her Vacaville opponents during the playoff game Wednesday afternoon (CANDY PADILLA/The Journal).

“I think the defense played a good game today,” said head coach Annabel Perez-Rangel on Wednesday. “They were awake, alert and made the right decision. They were able to play a good game, compared to last game when we struggled a little bit.”

The game went into extra time in the first half and just when everyone thought the game was going into the half scoreless, sophomore Valeria Arroyo sank a close-range shot to give the Pride the lead going into the half.

The second half ramped up the physicality with multiple takedowns and fouls given. The Pride was able to control possession again, but had a tough time finding the goal.

“I think we were able to keep our cool,” said Perez-Rangel. “We were contained, there was obviously a lot of pushing going around both ways. It was a hard match and a tough battle.”

Neither team was able to score in the second half and the Pride held onto a one to nil victory.

The Pride knew they were in for a tough matchup against Whitney, which was a top five ranked school in California. The Wildcats played an aggressive defense and made it difficult for Pitman to get clear shots at the goal.

“I think they played their hearts out there today,” said Perez Rangel. “I think we had our chances and they had theirs, and unfortunately things didn’t go our way today.”

After the first half neither team was able to find the net and entered the second half tied at zero. Both teams started playing aggressively and neither were able to gain control. That changed in the 65th minute when Whitney got free on a break and nailed a goal from close range.

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Lillyana Rodriguez works the ball past her Vacaville opponents during the playoff game Wednesday (CANDY PADILLA/The Journal).

Pitman would not go down, and tried to push the ball near the net but Whitney’s defense never really let the Pride have a clear shot. Goalkeeper Mya Sanchez had two free kicks in Wildcat territory. But was unable to knock either in and the Pride ended their season with the 0-1 loss.

The Pride finished the season with a 19-3-2 record while going 8-1-1 in league play. They were CCAL Champions for the third year in a row.

“We have a great group of seniors, they’re a very talented group,” said Perez-Rangel. “It’s going to be us losing them, but I’m very excited for what’s coming next.”