After storming through the Peninsula Athletic League Ocean Division with just one loss against 13 victories, the Capuchino High School girls’ soccer team had to be feeling very good heading into Wednesday.
But it took Soquel all of six minutes to ruin an entire season’s worth of work. The visiting Knights found the back of the Mustangs’ net early in the opening round of the Central Coast Section Division III playoffs at Skyline College, setting the stage for a 2-0 victory for Soquel to end Capuchino’s season.
“We were playing a PAL Bay-equivalent team out there today,” Mustangs coach Terry Andreacchi said after the match. “It required us to play a flawless game today and we did not do that. We made way too many mistakes out there.”
The primary problem for 10th-seeded Capuchino (17-4) was their inability to prevent the No. 7 Knights (13-4-2) from making runs down the sidelines before crossing the ball in front of the Mustangs’ net throughout the contest.
That led to the opening goal of the game in the sixth minute when Soquel’s Bella Gentile-Montgomery sprinted down the sideline deep into the corner and fired a pass across the field through several players from both teams.
The pass somehow found its way across to Megan Veach, who beat Capuchino senior goalie Celina Ulloa with a shot across the grain and into the far corner of the net.
Despite yielding the early goal, Ulloa kept the Mustangs in the match with several clutch saves as the Knights continued to attack from the sidelines with crossing passes that led to shots on goal.
But the Mustangs’ offense never got into rhythm as the quicker Knights turned away each attempt to drive the ball into Knights’ territory, and Knights goalie Hailey Fish was rarely challenged.
“They were just too fast for us,” Andreacchi said. “We were able to stay with them when we had the wind in the first half, but we never got anything going in the second half.”
Maddie Diaz sealed the Mustangs’ fate in the 68th minute with the second goal of the game after Holley Tousseau converted a turnover deep in Mustangs’ territory into a nice crossing pass to Diaz.
Ulloa had no chance to stop the point-blank shot and the Knights began making plans for their second round game on Saturday against Live Oak.
Over half of Capuchino’s team played their last game in a Mustangs uniform on Wednesday, as nine of the 17 players are seniors.
“It wasn’t the way we wanted to end our season,” Andreacchi said. “We’ll be back next year and try to be even better.”