The Pitman Pride girls soccer team couldn’t stop their crosstown rivals from earning the first-ever Central California Athletic League title, but they did put a wrench in the Bulldogs’ perfect record by battling them to a tied finish at the conclusion of Wednesday’s final league contest.
Heading into the final regular season contest against Pitman, Turlock had already clinched the CCAL title after winning their penultimate contest against Downey High. A wild rivalry game that saw a last second stoppage time score from the opposition ended the contest in a 1-1 draw.
“I think the girls played great, they did great all game, we just had a slip up and they capitalized on our mistake. But other than that, we had many opportunities and the girls knew they needed to play,” said Pitman head coach Annabel Perez. “They knew they had to secure that second-place spot.”
“We did tie, but we are still champions no matter what. It was a great game and it is a crosstown rivalry so it will be chippy,” said Turlock head coach Temo Arteaga. “It is a good draw, feels like a loss, but we went undefeated in league. I’m just really proud of the girls, we weren’t sure where we would end up, since it takes time to develop your team.”
Turlock closes the year at 20-1-2 overall and 9-0-1 in league play.
This is also the third straight year that Turlock has won a league title, having won the Central California Conference the previous two seasons.
Turlock has not lost a league game since Feb. 2, 2018.
Pitman is 14-4-2 overall and 7-2-1 in CCAL play and finish in second place to their crosstown rivals.
Since losing 1-0 to Enochs on Jan. 18, Pitman won five straight, shutting out all opponents and outscoring them a combined, 22-0.
In the last six regular season games Pitman outscored opponents 23-1.
Turlock’s winning streak was longer, having won 16 straight since dropping their only game of the season.
For just the second time this year, Turlock faced a draw after leading for most of the game.
It took just 10 minutes for Turlock to notch a score after Kayli Wilson received a pass from Daisy Martinez and struck the back of the net.
The Bulldogs’ 1-0 lead carried well into the end of regulation and into stoppage time.
“I think after we scored the girls got comfortable, they thought they would come back and score more goals but these types of games you cannot take the foot off the pedal,” said Arteaga. “We let them hang in the game and they came out ready to fight and battle.”
In stoppage time, over three minutes after regulation, Pitman found the back of the net off a set piece where Landyn Mills hit the back of the net to get the draw at 1-1.
“I think this gives us momentum no matter what and I think our girls will do well,” said Perez.
“I told our team to have fun tomorrow, we are making the playoffs. We lost one game all season, we won the first ever CCAL title, let’s have fun,” Arteaga added.
Both Turlock and Pitman advance to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs with opponents and times yet to be determined. For the latest bracket updates visit cifsjs.org.