By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
Sudden death is a cruel way to end while sweet for the team that’s piling on top of each other in celebration, but regardless of which side you were cheering for Diamond Bar and Bishop Amat lived up to all the hype.
The only words freshman Alexa Ruiz could sputter out was “it was exciting” following Bishop Amat’s dramatic 4-3 victory over Diamond Bar that ended on Ruiz’s double-overtime golden goal in Thursday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 3 girls soccer quarterfinal.
Exciting it was, and with some controversy on the game-winner that sent fourth-seed Amat (17-4-5) to Tuesday’s semifinals, where it will face Yorba Linda in hopes of advancing to its third straight title game.
After Diamond Bar goalkeeper Tyler Hunt made an incredible save off a header in the first overtime to keep the Brahmas in it, Amat’s Lena Suehrstedt sent a long throw-in late in the second overtime that got poked away straight to Amat’s Yazmin Montoya.
Montoya tried to hurry a shot that she shanked toward the back post where Ruiz was standing for an easy re-direct and finish while Diamond Bar coaches were screaming for an offside with just four minutes left before the game would be decided on penalty kicks. (To continue click thread)
San Dimas 1, Katella 0: The San Dimas High girls soccer team put pressure on Katella from the opening whistle and defeated the Knights 1-0 on Thursday to advance to the CIF-Southern Section Division 6 semifinals for the third consecutive year.
Oxnard 2, Sierra Vist 1, OT: For the third consecutive year, Sierra Vista was ousted in the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division 6 playoffs. The Dons fell to visiting Oxnard, 2-1, in overtime on a golden goal by forward Melissa Aldrete in the 82nd minute.
Great Oak 3, Chino Hills 2: Temecula Great Oak jumped out to a two-goal lead and hung on for a 3-2 victory over Chino Hills in the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 girls soccer playoffs Thursday night.
Girls Socer Playoffs Results
Great Oak 3, Chino Hills 2
Bishop Amat 4, Diamond Bar 3, 20T
San Dimas 1, Katella 0
Oxnard 2, Sierra Vista 1, OT
Arroyo 3, Crossroads 1
Bishop Amat at Yorba Linda, 5 p.m.
Citrus Valley at San Dimas, 5 p.m.
University Prep at Arroyo, 5 p.m.
Marshall at Gabrielino, 5 p.m.
Inland Insider Tom Kiss’ video and interviews from Chino Hills’ heartbreaking 3-2 loss at Great Oak
That was how it ended for Diamond Bar (19-4-3), which battled back from a 2-0 deficit in the first 10 minutes to tie the game at half, and after trailing 3-2, tied the score again in the final 10 minutes to send it to overtime.
“The final sequence was tough to see,” Diamond Bar coach Matt Brummett said. “Was it offside? Maybe, maybe not. But Amat deserved it as much as we might have deserved it.
“It was a back and forth game. Hats off to them for battling and hats to our girls for battling back. It could have gone either way. In overtime there were chances for both sides but Amat deserved to win because they scored the last goal.”
It looked like Amat would run away with it early.
Montoya’s shot in the second minute ricocheted off a Brahmas’ defender for an own goal and Cassandra Reyes buried a left-footed free kick in the seventh minute to give the Lancers a 2-0 lead.
But Diamond Bar’s Helena Kisor floated a 25-yard shot that dipped in for a score in the 34th minute, and Tatum Lockett buried her 35th goal of the season on a beautiful free kick in the 39th minute that tied the score, 2-2.
Amat took the lead back in the second half.
Kelly Velasquez’s long free kick was headed home by Kathleen Zamora in the 59th minute.
“Once I saw the ball in the air, I knew that it was mine,” Zamora said.
But the Brahmas came back again on Marissa Favela’s 77th minute goal to make it 3-3, sending the game to overtime.
For Amat coach Ruben Gonzalez, whose team blew a 2-0 lead before beating Righetti 4-3 in the second-round, he’s just glad they were able to celebrate in the end.
“I’m going to lose the rest of my hair after games like this,” Gonzalez said. “Just the resilience and Amat pride. They (players) come to Amat and feel that pride and fight to the end. Whether we win or lose we’re going to leave it all on the field.”
Certainly both teams deserved to feel that way.
“A lot of teams would have ducked out and lost that game 6-0 after going down 2-0 in the first ten minutes,” Brummett said. “We fought back and battled and as a coach I couldn’t be more proud, especially against a team that has as much tradition as Bishop Amat.”