Brahmas soccer got the upper hand against cross-town rival LA Valley College in the Play-In game of the regional playoffs.
The only goal of the game came in the first half which was scored by forward Gisell Cruz.
Two minutes before her goal, there was a huge scare for the team.
Goalkeeper Emily Claros was coming out for the ball, but it made a weird bounce that it went over her, but the Monarchs couldn’t capitalize with an open goal.
Minutes later on a corner kick, Diana Millan headed the ball towards goal but it went inches over the bar.
In the first half, there were multiple hand balls which the referee did not call.
Head Coach Adolfo Perez did not agree with all the calls the official made, however he said it is best to keep quiet.
“I’ve learned through years you know what, you’re not going to beat them. That’s why I stopped when he gave me a warning. I just stopped because the more you talk to these guys, the worst it’s going to get, so you just move on,” Perez said.
Cruz felt the referees were not doing enough to protect the players.
“I think this was the worst ref we’ve ever had. The calls that should have been called, he wouldn’t call them. It was too much on his part and not enough of protecting the players,” Cruz said.
In the second half, the Brahmas had opportunities to put the game to bed. On a corner kick, Jordyn Conlon headed the ball but it went straight at Valley keeper, Isabel Kiledjian.
The referee gave assistant coach William Diaz and Monarchs’ Danielle Tilton yellow cards. He also ejected one of Pierce’s locksmiths from the bench in stoppage time.
This did not hamper the team’s efforts. Their victory means they advance to the next round of the Southern California Regional Playoffs and play against Cerritos College.
Cerritos College is currently ranked number one in Division III Junior College Women’s Soccer, according to polls from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
Cruz believes it will be a close game and is excited to move forward.
“It’s going to be a very tight game, but we’re ready for it. We just need to stay focused, have the same energy we had today, and it’ll go the way we want it,” Cruz said.
Jordyn Conlon, forward, is anticipating the game against Cerritos.
“We know we’re going into like really tough competition. So, we just know that if we go in and do well, we must be really working together,” Conlon said.
Perez said the team will be coming up with a defensive plan. Six of the players from Cerritos College previously played on Division I teams.
“We have one day to come up with a miracle at this point. You know, not that I don’t have faith in our girls, but we’re playing Cerritos. Cerritos has a 124 goals for, one against. It’s never been done,” Perez said.
Until Saturday comes, the team will celebrate their win against local rival, Valley College.
“Valley’s one of our biggest competition. It’s like their main goal is just to beat us or even tie us,” Conlon said. “This is my first year on a college team, so to be in the playoffs feels great. We’re going to go get some food, probably just listen to some music, then I’m going home and relax and just get ready for Saturday,” Conlon said.
The next game for the Brahmas will be held at Cerritos College Saturday at 11 a.m.