Fallbrook High School’s girls soccer team spent three days in the South Bay for the Mustang Tournament and reached the tournament semifinals.
The Warriors suffered a 3-0 loss December 18 to Bonita Vista on the Barons’ home field, lost 2-0 December 19 to Christian at Otay Ranch High School, and defeated Otay Ranch by a 1-0 score December 21 on the Mustangs’ home field.
The second-place result in pool play gave Fallbrook a semifinal match at Otay Ranch the night of December 21 against Mission Bay, who took a 1-0 win over the Warriors.
“I was pretty impressed with the way the girls played,” said Fallbrook coach Kevin Koptieff. “They stepped up.”
Koptieff and Bonita Vista coach Ron Pietila agree that Fallbrook played better in the tournament opener than the score indicated.
“It was a lot closer than that,” Pietila said. “We played our best game of the year.”
“That should have been a win for us,” Koptieff said.
The Barons led 2-0 at halftime. Koptieff noted that the Warriors’ arrival time in Bonita allowed the team approximately 15 minutes for pre-game warmups.
Koptieff believes that his players performed better in the loss to Christian the following day.
“The girls played a lot more physical. They came out ready to play, and they didn’t back down,” he said. “It was a better showing.”
The physical play also resulted in eight yellow cards, five of which were issued to the Warriors, and three red card ejections, including two against Fallbrook players.
“The referees were just out of control. They didn’t control the game at all,” Koptieff said.
Despite the two ejected players not being allowed to play against Otay Ranch, the Warriors still managed the victory. Fallbrook goalkeeper April Doss earned her second shutout of the season (not including a 1-0 overtime loss in the Barons-Howie Classic finals) with help from sweeper Taylor Welby, outside defenders Hannah Wilson and Celene Conley, and center back Deanna Doss.
In the final minute of play against Otay Ranch, Kathy Reynoso took a corner kick which hit the front post and then went into the net. The whistle came shortly after the ensuing kickoff.
Bonita Vista, which had defeated Christian, left for a Bay Area tournament and forfeited its December 21 game against Otay Ranch. Otay Ranch tied Christian in the match between those two teams. Christian won the pool, although the Patriots lost a 2-1 match to Scripps Ranch in the semifinals, and Fallbrook’s second-place pool finish was strong enough to give the Warriors a wild card entry into the tournament semifinals.
Reynoso had been hit in her ankle during the Christian game, and in the semifinals against Mission Bay she was hit in the same ankle and only spent approximately 15 minutes of that game on the field. The game’s only goal was scored about 15 minutes into the game after a shot deflected off a Fallbrook defender and the
rebound allowed the Buccaneer player to shoot to the side Doss had vacated when guarding against the original shot.
Late in the game Fallbrook’s Erika Sanchez beat two Mission Bay players and shot from the box.
“That keeper made a great save,” Koptieff said.
The loss gave Fallbrook a 4-5 overall season record. The Warriors posted a 2-14-3 record during the 2008-09 season.
“They’re playing a lot better together,” Koptieff said of his players.
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