Gusty Winds Bring Defeat

Adrian Herrera/ Roundup

Coming off a stunning win in the first round of the playoffs that ended in penalty kicks, Pierce Women’s Soccer came into the second round poised for another victory, but the celebration never began as Pierce was shut out by San Bernardino Valley College.

The Brahmas fell to San Bernardino, 1-0, on a windy Tuesday afternoon in San Bernardino, eliminating them from the playoffs and bringing an end to yet another successful season.

Pierce finished the season with a record of 17-3-2, winning the Western State Conference Southern Division title.

“We had a phenomenal year,” said Pierce Head Coach Adolfo Perez, “It is nothing to be ashamed of.”

As for the game, Pierce seemed to be out of sync from very early on and never seemed to get much going causing frustration from both players and coaches.

Perez seemed frustrated very early on and even received his first yellow card of the season in the 42 minute of the first half for disputing a number of calls with the refereeing crew.

“I personally do not think we came out to play,” said forward Ani Eishoel, “We underestimated them and they are a great team.”

The first half was plagued by sloppy play from the Pierce side, but San Bernardino was not able to capitalize as they missed numerous shots on goal, including two shots in the first two minutes, leaving the game scoreless at halftime.

“We didn’t finish on any opportunities,” said  midfielder Megan Quinn. “They were beating us to the ball every time.”

While the Pierce offense played inconsistent, defensively they were playing strong, not allowing San Bernardino to score on a number of possessions, until the 28 minute of the second half when freshman forward Sarahi Bransford scored what ultimately was the game winning goal.

“We had a couple chances early on, especially in the first five minutes,” said San Bernardino Head Coach Kristin Hauge, “but I am glad we finally got one in towards the end.”

San Bernardino’s goal seemed to be a wake up call for Pierce as they began playing more like themselves.  They were passing, controlling ball possession, and hustling to the ball, but it proved to be a little too late as the final whistle blew sending San Bernardino and its fans into an uproar of cheers.

“They put a lot of pressure on us in the final 15 minutes,” said Hauge, “they are very well coached and have great speed.”

Injuries were a key topic of discussion before and after the game as Pierce was missing four starters, including leading goal scorer forward Erica Vangsness and one of its top defenders in forward Nicole Jovel, according to Perez.

“We had a lot of injuries and that doesn’t help in a game like this,” said Perez “If our players had not gotten hurt it could have been a different story.”

However, Eishoei did not blame the loss on the injured players.

“We can not blame the injuries,” said Eishoei “We just had to pick it up and we didn’t and we were not up to par today.”

Before the game began Coach Perez raised concerns about the playing field as he and the rest of the coaching staff believed it did not meet the minimum regulation size for the playoffs.

“I think the field issue could be a problem,” said Perez before the game, “There is no doubt it can have an impact.”

After surveying the field, the coaches believed it measured around 60 yards by 104 yards, less than the minimum allowed.

However, San Bernardino Athletic Director David Rubio was on hand and confirmed that the playing field did meet the minimum regulation of 70 yards by 110 yards, leaving the Pierce coaching staff skeptical.

“We just had to go out and play our game,” said Perez, “There was only so much we could do about the field issue, we could have tried to protest it.”

Coach Perez did not use the field as an excuse for the loss after the game.

“We lost to a great team and I hope they win state,” said Perez “You don’t get lucky being 19-0-4.”


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