Fallbrook High School’s girls soccer team was eliminated in the first round of the CIF Division III playoffs Feb. 22 when Mount Carmel scored the game’s only goal in the final minute of overtime.
The teams played two scoreless 40-minute regulation halves on the Mount Carmel field, and a 15-minute sudden-death overtime period followed. Had neither team scored in the overtime period the game would have been decided on a penalty kick shootout, but in the final minute of overtime Mount Carmel scored for a 1-0 victory.
“They just came up with a goal in the last minute,” said Fallbrook coach Sergio Garcia. “The game was a nail-biter, not many opportunities from either end. The girls played their heart out.”
Fallbrook, which was in Division IV for playoff purposes last year, was moved up to Division III and received the ninth seed in this year’s Division III playoffs. Mount Carmel was seeded eighth.
“Keeping a game close proves that we can play against schools of that caliber that have a bigger pool of players to choose from,” said Garcia.
Fallbrook goalkeeper Precious Garcia made nine saves against the Sundevils. Starting defenders Lindsey Grant, Jessica Lopez, Audrey Peterson, and Monica Saltz also assisted in keeping Mount Carmel scoreless for the game’s first 94 minutes.
The loss gave Fallbrook a final overall record of 9-8-5. The Warriors’ 5-1-2 performance in Valley League play resulted in second place in the final league standings.
“I’m disappointed that we didn’t advance, but overall I think it was a successful season,” Sergio Garcia said.