Girls Soccer: Rangers lose playoff thriller in overtime

Redwood allows two late overtime goals, lose 3-2 to Clovis East

VISALIA – Intensity always rises during the playoffs, and it could be felt throughout Mineral King Bowl last Wednesday. The No. 4 ranked Redwood Rangers were upset by the No. 13 seed Clovis East Timberwolves, after allowing two late goals in overtime.

After regulation, the two teams were tied at 1-1. During the first overtime period, Redwood’s freshman duo of Paityn Bruce and Roxana Bahr teamed up to give their team the lead. Bruce found the back of the net off an assist by Bahr in the fifth minute to go up 2-1.

In the sixth minute of the second overtime period, Clovis East finally responded after Redwood had dominated their side of the field. They scored by beating Redwood’s outside defender and the goalie resulting in a crisp pass into the net to tie the score at 2-2. This was incredibly upsetting to the Rangers as they seemed to have let their intensity down for the slightest moment, allowing the Timberwolves to score the disappointing game winning goal in the final minute with the same play as their previous goal.

From the opening whistle, Redwood charged their opponents with an intense speed and seemed to win every ball while advancing towards the goal. They dominated on offense, however in the 20th minute, Clovis East scored the game’s first goal by a cross from the outside after a break-away.

As the half continued, Redwood continued their high-intensity but trailed 1-0 heading into halftime.

Beginning the second half, Redwood came on strong in an attempt to tie the score. In the 48th minute, freshman Ellie Gilbert dashed down the field with incredible speed and crossed it into the penalty box where Bruce finished with the goal to tie the game 1-1.

As the half continued, both teams kept their sides of the field strong and didn’t allow another goal in.

Sophomore goal keeper Olivia Saenz saved the game with an incredible deflection in the last 10 minutes of regulation.

When the final whistle blew after overtime, the feelings of disappointment were obvious.

“Most were in shock just sitting there, while the returners and seniors were in tears,” Senior Sydney Somavia said.

Redwood head coach Jason Vieira was absent as he was on paternity leave, so assistant coach Jefferson Vieira filled in. Going into the match, Vieira knew any team they’d play would’ve been hard fought and physical given they were in Division 1.

“Soccer is just one of the games where things can change in seconds, and unfortunately we were on the wrong end of it,” Viera said.

Senior Kelsey Konishi, who played the whole game at center defender, knew Clovis East would be a strong skilled team. Knowing that she had just played her final game, Konishi was beyond sentimental in the end. Following a tough loss at home in such a close game, Konishi and the rest of the team found it heartbreaking to end the season that way.

“Losing is never fun, but with it being my last game ever as a Ranger, it was hard to take in,” Konishi said. “These last four years have been such a journey, and the soccer program gave me deeper bonds and unforgettable moments that I will cherish forever.”

Despite being a freshman, Bruce was the star of the night for the Rangers as she scored both of the team’s goals. She knew what to expect for their opponents as she has played with and against some of the players on Clovis East during her club season.

Throughout the match, Bruce and her teammates experienced a wide range of emotions. She was relieved and excited after both her goals, but distraught after the last two goals by the other side.

Looking to the future, she knows that this game will make them stronger for next season.

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