Sauceda Sends SBVC Through in Extra Time

Photo by Micah Escamilla
Photo by Micah Escamilla

As time ticked down in extra time Tuesday afternoon at San Bernardino Valley College, coaches in front of both benches began plotting out their strategy for a penalty kick shootout.

San Bernardino Valley's Caitlyn Sauceda had other plans.

The sophomore from Cajon High flew in and blasted a shot past Mt. San Antonio College goalkeeper Gabrielle Leon with about a minute left in the second half of extra time to lift the Wolverines to a 2-1 victory and advance to one of the Southern California Regional Finals against San Diego Mesa on Saturday.

The game-winner came as the Wolverines made one last push up the field. After an SBVC free kick into the penalty area was cleared out by the Mounties, the ball flew out toward midfield where defender Reyna VanDamme collected the ball. VanDamme settled the ball and lofted it back toward the Mt. SAC area. Sauceda, who had fled the area, ran in from an onside position, beating the Mounties' defense to the ball at the top of the 18 where she volleyed it into the back of the net.

Mt. SAC dominated the pace of play in the opening 90 minutes. The Mounties outshot SBVC 18-2, with Wolverines' goalkeeper Kerstin Lecon making eight saves in regulation time - and getting help from Ferryn Koss, who cleared a shot off the line in the first half.

SBVC broke through in the first half of extra time. Sauceda came up the left side in the 94th minute, and drove a shot that Leon parried away. But the rebound landed in front of the net and Eliana Martinez won the race to the loose ball, tucking it home for the 1-0 lead.

The Mounties answered in the 101st minute. They pushed the ball down field earning a corner kick. Britany Serrano, who had been dangerous from distance all game, sent the corner across to the far post, where Liani Sanchez drove it home with her head to tie the game.

In the end, the Wolverines were outshot on the game 21-9, with Lecon making nine saves, while Leon had four for Mt. SAC.