By SARAH KOENIG, VALLEY CHRISTIAN
March 3, 2013
After 80+ minutes of regulation soccer and two 10-minute overtime periods, the score stood still at 0-0. As a result, Santa Teresa and Woodside were awarded a co-championship in the Central Coast Section Division I finals, which were held at Valley Christian Saturday afternoon.
Both teams had ample opportunity to score, but the defenses were adamant about finishing the game with a shutout.
“A co-championship has 'championship' at the end," Woodside coach Jose Navarette said. "That’s the way were looking at it and staying very positive.”
Woodside (19-0-4) finished the season undefeated; Santa Teresa, which had to forfeit four matches as a result of the situation involving national team player Tegan McGrady playing in a tournament that was not sanctioned by CIF, finished 12-6-3.
Both teams came out a bit hesitant, but Santa Teresa found a rhythm and possessed the ball primarily in its back line and midfield. Sophomore Noelle Lara was able to put the ball in the box for Saints, but the forwards struggled to put a foot on the end of her crosses, especially with the tenacious Woodside defender Gianna Rosati all over the Saints offense.
Woodside had a different attack method as a defender would launch the ball over the Saints defense and have a forward run on to it. The Wildcats held an 11-2 advantage in shots in the first half, and although the Saints struggled to move past the Wildcats' backline, Woodside was unable to put the ball in the back of freshman Saints goalkeeper McKinly Yeager’s net.
Tensions were high as both teams felt the pressure of a championship title and the Woodside defense remained unyielding giving up only six shots, even as Santa Teresa pushed the offense up in the overtime period to try and score.
Senior midfielder Katie Hadfield controlled the ball in the center of the field for the Saints and created space for her forwards, allowing her team to have the upper hand in possession.
“We controlled the ball in the midfield, which gave us opportunities in the second half, but we couldn’t find that final bounce to get a high percentage shot," Santa Teresa coach Richard Spencer said. "Every shot was 20 or 30 yards out. We pushed later in the second half of regulation with a couple more forwards because the girls wanted to go for the win, but again just couldn’t find the back of the net.”