The previously unbeaten Santa Rosa JC women’s soccer team was eliminated from the CCCAA State Tournament on Saturday as the Bear Cubs lost to visiting Modesto, 2-1.
A victory in the game would’ve sent SRJC to the Final Four. Instead, the season comes to an end with a 19-1-4 record.
Modesto scored the game’s first two goals and then held off Santa Rosa’s late charge. The home team’s only goal was by Sophia Maso in the 73rd minute.
The second half was played primarily in the Pirates’ end of the field but Santa Rosa was unable to convert several corner kicks or shots on goal.
It was the third meeting of the year between the schools. The Bear Cubs won at home, 2-0, and the game at Modesto ended 2-2.
Santa Rosa was missing one of its best players in Amanda Galbraith. She was given a red card in Tuesday’s victory against Evergreen and had to sit out Saturday’s game. Then, Liz Duport, another top player, injured a hamstring in the first half.
“It was like we were fighting uphill,” coach Crystal Howard said. “Modesto jumped on top and we tried with everything we had but couldn’t quite get over the hump.
“We ended up with injuries and scrapes because the girls left it all on the field.”
Modesto had only one shot on goal in the second half but that was a breakaway converted by Yaritza Arista in the 59th minute. The Pirates’ first score was by Tyler Fenton in the 15th minute.
The goal by the Bear Cubs’ Maso was assisted by Megan Flynn. The ball was played into Maso and she fought through a double team to put the ball in the left upper side of the goal from just inside the box.
Howard said her girls were devastated by the loss.
“Right now, it’s tough for all of us,” she said. “It’s bittersweet losing for the first time one game away from going to the Final Four. This was the first goal we set for ourselves that we were unable to keep.
“I told the girls as much as it hurts, we have to keep the season in perspective. We accomplished a lot in the four months we were together.”
Freshman Megan Flynn left the field on crutches after injuring her left knee in the second half. Earlier in the season, she she sprained her right ACL.
“It was devastating because we worked so hard for this,” she said. “We came out in the second half with the will to win and we had our chances, we just couldn’t do it.
“I think the injury to Liz (Duport) and not having Amanda (Galbraith) definitely affected the outcome.”
Meanwhile, Modesto plays on with a 24-2-1 record.