The San Luis Obispo High School girls soccer team rallied back from a two-goal deficit before ultimately falling 3-2 in double overtime against Temecula Valley in the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 championship game Saturday afternoon at Panther Stadium in Corona.
Sophomore midfielder Angela Crozier scored twice for the Tigers in the final 11 minutes of regulation to send the game to overtime. But an aggressive Golden Bears team regrouped early in the second extra period, and sophomore forward Olivia Matis scored the game-winning goal in the 93rd minute to seal the victory.
San Luis Obispo (23-2) saw its 16-game winning streak come to an end, marking its first setback since a Jan. 5 loss at Paso Robles. The Tigers, who were playing for their first CIF-Southern Section Division 2 title in school history, will play in the first round of the state tournament on Tuesday.
“It was an inspiring effort on their end and just an unfortunate way to end with just an unlucky bounce,” San Luis Obispo coach Brittney Viboch said. “But we told them that redemption is going to be so much sweeter. We’ve still got state on Tuesday and three games and we can be in the state finals playing again for another championship.”
Temecula Valley (22-6-2) generated several scoring opportunities late in the first half and continued to build on that momentum after the break.
Speedy freshman forward Morgan Witz scored an unassisted goal in the 43rd minute, and senior forward Sophie Ghaderi extended the lead to 2-0 with a scoring strike in the 48th minute.
The Tigers refused to go home quietly.
Crozier, who entered Saturday’s contest with two goals in 22 matches this season, scored in the 69th minute to pull San Luis Obispo within 2-1. She found the back of the net again in the 79th minute to force overtime.
“That was confidence we needed in Angie today,” Viboch said. “Once that first one went in for her, the second one she hit with more confidence and she played with more confidence throughout the rest of the game. That is a huge confidence booster for her and this team going forward into the first round of state.”
Viboch said she did not know who the Tigers’ first-round opponent will be in the state tournament, or where the game will be played. But she was confident San Luis Obispo would bounce back quickly.
“I honestly think they’re going to be coming back aiming with fire,” Viboch said. “Just because of the group of girls I have, they’re an inspiring group and when they want something, they go get it.”