As darkness fell in Los Olivos Thursday evening, the Dunn School Earwigs’ boys soccer season came to a sudden, heartbreaking end.
After 80 minutes of regulation play ended in a 1-1 tie and two scoreless 10-minute sudden-death overtimes, the Earwigs lost to the St. Genevieve Valiants, 4-2 on penalty kicks in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 5 playoffs.
“We just couldn’t get it done,” said Dunn coach Alex Uribe. “We controlled time of possession, we had more scoring opportunities but at the end of the day, it’s who has more goals.”
Dunn had an excellent season, going 10-5 overall and rolling through the Condor League with a perfect 9-0 record.
But the Earwigs just couldn’t find an answer to the Valiants early in the year or late.
It was the second time this season the team from Panorama City defeated Dunn with the Valiants edging the Earwigs, 1-0, on Dec. 7, 2018, in both teams’ the second game of the season.
“St. Genevieve isn’t a big squad. They don’t have a lot of players but the ones they have all play with a lot of heart,” said Uribe. “They found a way to stay in the game and, at the end, found a way to win.”
This time Dunn came close, ever so close, to pulling out the victory but when Jonathan Rodriguez scored with less than two minutes left in regulation, it tied the game and set the stage for the Valiants’ penalty kick heroics.
“Just making the (120-mile) trip up here is a battle,” said St. Genevieve coach Jose Mejia. “This is a beautiful place but it’s a long trip.”
The teams played a scoreless first half — most of it on the Valiants’ end as the Earwigs pressed attack after attack.
But St. Genevieve goal keeper Nick Roque was up to the challenge, blocking four Dunn shots including a spectacular save against Dunn’s Rene Pacheco midway through the half.
For their part, the Valiants took advantage of every opportunity, managing six first-half shots on Dunn keeper Brima Kamara — most very long shots that Kamara handled easily.
For a moment, it appeared that St. Genevieve scored the first goal of the game in the 50th minute of the second half.
Dario Sahagun took a shot that hit the post and the Valiants began a wild celebration.
But the goal was waved off.
“I thought it hit the post and bounced in,” said Mejia. “But the referee said it hit the post and bounced out,” and Kamara quickly pounced on the rebound.
Dunn broke through in the 60th minute.
Alpha Sowe had a free kick from near midfield and used it to send a pass to Pacheco who blasted the ball past Roque for a 1-0 Dunn lead.
“That was a great play,” said Uribe. “That’s an example of how well these boys can play.”
Time became a factor and a Dunn victory was almost at hand as the Earwigs kept pushing the attack, limiting the Valiants opportunities.
But the Valiants got their chance when Sahagun took a shot from the right side that went into a scrum in front of the net that Kamara blocked back into the field with a header.
St. Genevieve got the rebound and sent the ball back to Sahagun who made another pass into the middle. This time, Rodriguez got a foot on it and sent the ball into the net.
The Earwigs had one final chance to win in regulation when Abdul Kadir broke free and found an open Pacheco streaking toward the net. Pacheco put his foot into the ball and launched a shot that was dead on — but too high, sailing over the net seconds from the end of regulation.
Dunn had a great chance to lose and then win in overtime.
Kamara made a huge save on a point-blank shot early in the first overtime and then kicked the ball halfway down the field where Sowe caught up with it.
Sowe rocketed the ball toward the goal but Roque knocked it away — right back to Sowe who took another shot but this one was just over the goal.
Later in the first OT, Jose Ricardo Chinchilla, who scored the lone goal in the teams’ first meeting, got open in front of Kamara and took his shot but Kamara made a huge, leaping save to keep the game tied.
With darkness quickly descending and the home crowd chanting “Let’s go Dunn,” the Earwigs mounted relentless pressure in the second overtime but St. Genevieve’s back line defense kept kicking the ball away, sending the game to penalty kicks.
“Our back line definitely stood out for us today,” said Mejia. “Dunn had more chances but our back line did a great job at keeping them from getting even more shots.”
Dunn went up 1-0 on a Sowe penalty kick but Roque stopped the next two Dunn shots before Kadir found the net.
Meanwhile, after an opening miss, Sahagun, Nathan Soto, Chinchilla and Rodriguez scored four straight times to ice the comeback victory.
“Penalty kicks can go either way,” said Mejia. “We missed our first one and they hit theirs but we came back and got four straight and were lucky to get the win.”
The Dunn School girls soccer team also bowed out in the first round of the playoffs, falling to St. Bonaventure 4-1 on Wednesday.
Oak Park 61, Santa Ynez 52
OAK PARK — The Pirates' season ended with a road loss in Division 4AA.
Santa Ynez finished third in the Channel League. They finished 14-13 overall and went 7-3 in Channel League play.
Grace Padilla led Santa Ynez with 14 points and Lita Wright added 13. Malia Loos added 12. The Pirates sank 10 3-pointers as team, with Loos knocking down four and Wright sinking three.
Padilla had a double-double, grabbing 17 rebounds.
Girls water polo
Pirates bounced in 2nd round
The Santa Ynez girls beat Santa Paula in the first round of the Division 6 playoffs, 11-5.
They then played Walnut at Dos Pueblos in a second-round game and narrowly lost, 4-3, losing out on a trip to the quarterfinals.
Canyons 6, Hancock 2
SANTA CLARITA - The Cougars (1-4) out-hit the Bulldogs (3-2) 12-3 and earned their first win of the year with this non-conference victory.
Travis Welker had the lone Hancock RBI.