After getting the upset over the College of the Canyons Saturday, the soccer team (13-6-4) saw their season come to an end at the hands of the San Bernardino Valley College Wolverines with the final score, 4-0.
With the loss of five starters due to injuries, the team struggled. Teary eyes and somber looks filled the players faces as the referee blew the final whistle.
The team didn’t only have trouble on the field, their truck blew a tire while on the way to the game, which made them 15 minutes late.
Gisell Cruz, forward, said the team wasn’t mentally prepared for the game.
“This game wasn’t as we planned. I think we gave it a lot of heart, but at the end of the day, we didn’t get the result we wanted,” Cruz said. “But we did work hard for it.”
Pierce’s head coach Adolfo Perez said that because the Wolverines had 33 girls and the ability to sub out players, things were somewhat easier for them. The Brahmas only had 13 players and could only sub out one person.
“One of our better players got dropped from her English class and she couldn’t participate today,” Perez said. “I don’t like to use excuses, but we just were down. We played an extra game more than anybody else and we just tired out.”
Wolverines head coach Kristin Hauge said her team talked about this game because last season a lower ranked Pierce beat them and knocked them out of the playoffs. The team wanted to prove a point this time around.
“They are, regardless of injuries and games, whatever the case may be, a talented team and well coached,” Hauge said. “I knew it was going to be a challenge for us today. I told them that for 90 minutes we have to play the entire time.”
The first half resulted in two goals for the Wolverines. On a counter attack, Monica Garcia gave San Bernardino Valley College the lead.
Stephanie Doran doubled the lead for the Wolverines after a penalty was called against Pierce.
Things got worse for the Brahmas when Irene Reyes suffered a concussion and was taken out of the game to undergo a physical assessment after a 50/50 clash.
“Winning the 50/50 battle that we didn’t get to win, I think those were the ones that mostly got to us and to the game,” Cruz said. “It’s just about getting there first.”
Pierce was unable to score a goal, but made five attempts in the first half. Jennifer Veliz came close to scoring for the Brahmas, but her shot hit the outside post.
Brianna Jacobo was the busiest of the two goalkeepers in the first half. After the Wolverines scored their first two goals, she was called into action denying a third. She had a total of seven saves in the game.
The Wolverines played both of their goalkeepers. Natalie Carreon started the game and Ann-Marie O’Connell played the second half. O’Connell made three saves.
Perez said they made mistakes with the little things, and with the amount of injuries the team faced, it hindered them.
“I wish we didn’t get hurt, but that’s a part of the game,” Cruz said. “We lost three girls to season-ending concussions and two other girls to ACLs. That’s five starters.”
Perez spoke to the girls during the half and told them not to let up and not to give up because they still had a chance.
Not long after the start of the second half, the Wolverines’ Karen Jacobs added her name on the scoresheet, making the score 3-0.
Jacobs also provided the assist for Morgan Simman’s goal, that gave the Wolverines their fourth goal.
Jacobs said the Wolverines practiced hard and did what they have been doing all year, playing hard and taking everything seriously.
“We took them on one-versus-one. I just knew that we had to get this win no matter what kind of goal we scored. I was just trying to be all in for my team as much as they are for me,” Jacobs said.
Cruz plans to train harder and better for their season next year, and Perez said that he has to recruit better next time and keep the girls practicing.