The Lompoc Braves chase for the Channel League girls’ soccer championship went down to the final night of the regular season.
The Braves had to beat the Santa Ynez Pirates Thursday on Senior Night under temporary lights on their temporary home field and get a little help from the Santa Barbara Dons.
“It’s not often that we root for Santa Barbara but we are rooting for them tonight,” said Lompoc head coach Jason Cochrane moments before the game began. “But we have to root for ourselves first.”
The Braves did their part, defeating the Pirates 5-1.
“Lompoc is definitely capable of taking advantage of any opportunities,” said Santa Ynez head coach Rob Cantrell. “They scored four of their five goals on set pieces and the fifth because of a bad clearance.”
The Braves will host La Quinta in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 4 playoffs Thursday afternoon.
Shortly after the final whistle, the Braves learned that Santa Barbara battled the Dos Pueblos Chargers to a 0-0 draw, giving Lompoc a share of the league championship.
Lompoc (11-1-6 overall) and Dos Pueblos finished the league season at 6-1-3.
“Last year we finished one point behind Dos Pueblos for second place,” said Cochrane. “After what happened Monday (a 2-0 loss to DP), I’m proud of the way the girls bounced back. Santa Barbara did us a huge favor.”
Santa Barbara (5-3-2) is third and Santa Ynez fourth (2-5-3).
“We still have an outside shot at the (CIF Southern Section) playoffs because we finished the season above .500 (8-7-4 overall) and play in a strong league,” said Santa Ynez head coach Rob Cantrell. “We’ve petitioned CIF for an at-large bid and now have to wait for Saturday when the brackets are announced.”
Both teams pressed their attacks early with neither able to gain a clear advantage as the defenses repeatedly foiled the other team’s plans.
But in the 24th minute, Lompoc broke through.
Lompoc’s Eme Tate launched a corner kick that bounced around in a crowd in front of the Santa Ynez goal.
“It was kind of pin-balling around in front of the goal and somehow Amy Bommersbach got a foot on it and kicked it into the net,” said Cochrane.
The Braves scored their second goal in a similar fashion.
This time a throw-in got kicked in front of the Santa Ynez goal.
There was a crowd of players battling in front of the goal and Katie Guzman managed to get a foot on the ball and send it past Santa Ynez goal keeper Brookelyn Fletcher in the 34th minute.
The Braves made it 3-0 just before halftime when Tate found Alondra Ibanez open on the right side and Ibanez converted the pass into a goal.
Lompoc’s leading scorer, Ayziah Simmons, found herself double-teamed throughout but still found a way to score the Braves' final two goals; the first off a pass from Guzman in the 50th minute, the second unassisted after Simmons won a battle against two Santa Ynez players in front of the Pirates’ net.
“We were looking for everyone to step up tonight and they did,” said Cochrane. “We got to send our seniors off with a win and a league co-championship.”
Win or lose, the Pirates always battle to the end and in the 72nd minute, they spoiled Lompoc keeper Breanna Contreras’ shutout bid when Rozlin Kristoffersen converted Sarah Johnston’s throw in for the game’s final score.
“Rozlin was All-League First Team her freshman year,” said Cantrell. “She’s battled injuries the last three years. She’s still not 100 percent but she was able to come out for our last three games. She got a beautiful goal tonight. She showed so much dedication. Roz came out all season even though she couldn’t play. It was great to see her back in action.”
Santa Ynez 2, Lompoc 1
The Santa Ynez boys team wrapped up a second place finish in the Channel League with a victory at home over Lompoc.
The game was scoreless through the first half.
In the 49th minute, Ricky Romero converted a Nico Rocha pass to give Santa Ynez a 1-0 lead.
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Lompoc tied the game in the 62nd minute.
“It certainly looked like it was going to be a tie,” said Santa Ynez head coach Rick Joyner. But in the 78th minute, Ricky scored the game-winner off a pass from Brian Garcia.”
Santa Ynez finished the league season at 7-2-1 and is in line for a home game when the CIF-SS playoff brackets are released on Saturday.
Lompoc 77, Santa Ynez 64
Santa Ynez dropped its final game of the regular season to Lompoc in a Channel League boys basketball at Santa Ynez on Thursday night.
Nate Rogers led the Pirates with 18 points, Siggy Porter added 13, Scott Bunch 12 and Landon Lassahn nine.
Lompoc 54, Santa Ynez 37
Lompoc picked up a Channel League girls basketball win over Santa Ynez Wednesday night at Lompoc High.
Malia Loos led Santa Ynez with 10 points while Grace Padilla and Kattie Nguyen scored nine apiece.
Girls Water Polo
Santa Ynez 13, Lompoc 0
Peyton Pratt blocked eight shots in Santa Ynez's shutout at the Channel League girls water polo tournament on Thursday.
The Pirates had balanced scoring with 11 different girls getting at least one goal.
Annabel Hosking and Alexa Yacoub led Santa Ynez with two goals apiece.
Single goals were scored by Shea Ackert, Camilla Curti, Ally Alderete, Lily Mazza, Kylie Luke, Taye Luke, Sydney Gills, Fallin Brady and Lauren Swing.
Orcutt Academy 3, Santa Maria 1
The Orcutt Academy Spartans wrapped up the Ocean League championship with a victory at Santa Maria.
Santa Maria scored first, getting a goal on a free kick in the 25th minute.
Belinda Hernandez scored an unassisted goal in the 33rd minute to tie the game going into halftime.
In the second half, Hope Smith scored on a free kick in the 58th minute to give Orcutt Academy the lead.
Elianna Kline added an insurance goal in the 65th minute, converting a Siena Ascencio pass into a goal.
Abigail Valencia had one save for the Spartans in the first half. Ally Britt took over in goal in the second half and recorded two saves.
The Spartans finished the regular season at 19-5-2 overall and 10-2 in league games.