The No. 7 Pitman High Pride varsity girls soccer team will be moving on to the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II tournament after they toppled the No. 10 St. Mary’s Rams, 2-1, in overtime on Wednesday from home.
In the opening round, the Pride found themselves down early on, but they battled back and punched a late equalizer in regulation, just before pulling out ahead in the first half of overtime to edge out a parochial powerhouse in St. Mary’s.
“I’m happy... I am happy that these girls got a shot to host a game, they were the better seed and they proved it by coming out on top. They played their hearts out,” said Pitman head coach Annabel Perez. “I think they were ready for a fresh start and they knew they deserved a playoff spot. They worked hard today.”
St. Mary’s jumped out on top early in the 8th minute of the match off a set piece that was crossed into the goalie’s box, and in between a large scuffle the shot was zipped just past the defense to make it 1-0.
“Never too relaxed when they score, obviously, but I knew we had it in us since we dominated that second half and I think we just couldn’t finish,” said Perez.
The score remained the same heading into halftime and well into the second half until the 18th minute.
Izzy Shallou-Enes, the CCC’s Offensive Player of the Year, put the Pride on the board after she faked a move to the left and stepped to her right, sliding a low shot to the bottom right corner from about 22 yards to tie it 1-1.
The game then went into two overtime halves consisting of 10 minutes each.
With about six minutes remaining till the first half of overtime concluded, the Pride finally went up for good when Shallou-Enes placed a free kick from about 30 yards out into the penalty area where Hannah Green finished by putting the ball in the back of the net in a crowded penalty area.
“But it was bound to happen, luckily the girls were able to finish before time ended,” Perez added. “We pulled a freshman up during the Turlock game and then today we had an injury with Sidney (Cantwell), our back, came out but Jennifer (Chavez) went in and played really well…and it was great. Alley (Caballero) as well, played great.”
The Pride will next travel on the road to take on No. 2 Armijo at 3 p.m. Friday.