Sunny Hills exacted some revenge over San Luis Obispo on Thursday.
A little more than a week after the San Luis Obispo High School girls soccer team went on the road and knocked Sunny Hills (21-6-2) out of the sectional playoffs with an overtime goal, the Lancers repaid the favor with a physical, 1-0 win in the semifinals CIF Southern California Division 2 Regional Girls Soccer Championships.
The game-winning score came just before halftime off the left foot of forward Sierra Chhoeung. The senior took a cross and buried it in the bottom-left corner to go up 1-0.
After a first half in which Sunny Hills was the more physical team, causing two SLO High players to leave the field due to open wounds, the Tigers upped their intensity in the second half. It appeared that SLO High had tied the game with 21 minutes to play when sophomore Frankie Phelan headed a shot past the goalkeeper, but the referee ruled that Phelan interfered and waived off the goal.
Phelan earned SLO High a penalty kick a few minutes later when she was taken down inside the box after the ball had been cleared by Sunny Hills. SLO High's leading scorer, Olivia Ortiz, took the kick, but her shot was turned away in a diving save from freshman goalkeeper Priscilla Avila.
SLO High had four quality chances to tie the game in the final 10 minutes but couldn't find the net. It was only the second time this season SLO High failed to score and only the sixth time Ortiz, who had 28 goals on the season coming in, failed to tally a goal.
Despite the loss, it was another successful season for SLO High (24-3, 13-1 PAC 8). The Tigers won their third straight PAC 8 title and advanced to the semifinals of the CIF Southern California regionals for the second time in three seasons.
SLO High should have a chance at another deep playoff run next season.
The Tigers expect to return their top six goal scorers from this season along with the majority of their defense. Perhaps the two biggest losses will be the departure of senior goalkeeper Eislee Sohner and senior Sarah Attala, the PAC 8 Defensive Player of the Year. Sohner, who allowed just 14 goals in 27 games this season, had five saves against Sunny Hills.