Cypress Women's Soccer Falls Short in PK Shootout at the 3C2A State Final

Cypress Women's Soccer Falls Short in PK Shootout at the 3C2A State Final

By: Roger Flanders

CYPRESS, CA - No. 6 Cypress women's soccer (19-4-3, 10-3-1 OEC) were defeated in shootouts by the Forest Lake Falcons (16-3-5, 6-3-2 Big 8) in the 3C2A State Championship. 

The benches were filled at Mt. Sac, which was the host venue for the Cypress Chargers to take on the Folsom Lake Falcons. In a long arduous season, the Chargers finished third in the Orange Empire Conference just behind Santiago Canyon and Saddleback. Cypress would match up against the No. 8 Hawks in the first round of the playoff bracket and host the battle. At Ray Hass field, the Chargers dominated in the second half to shutout Santiago Canyon and advance with the big win, 4-0. Cypress would pitch another shutout in the second round of the 3C2A bracket against the No. 5 Long Beach City Vikings. Hosted at Long Beach, the visiting Chargers would score one goal in each half and earn the victory, 2-0. 

For Round Three, Cypress hosted and made a comeback against the Santa Monica Corsairs. Santa Monica scored at the 12th minute mark but the Chargers retaliated before half as Abigail Morales made it 1-1. Itzel Ramirez would gain a short lived lead for the home team as the Corsairs would tie it back up at the 76th minute. Two minutes before the final whistle, Janae Kayser would score the game winning goal for the Chargers to send her team to the state tournament. At the 3C2A State Tournament, No. 6 Cypress met the No. 15 Cosumnes River for the Semifinals. It was a repeat showing of their first playoff appearance as the Chargers dominated the pace of play to win 3-0. 

Cypress had made it to the big game and were set to battle the No. 10 Folsom Lake Falcons. The Chargers seemed to control time of possessions from the start of the game, but an unfortunate circumstance in the Cypress box allowed Folsom Lake a penalty shot. The Falcons took an early one goal lead as the Chargers played from behind at the 25th minute. Folsom Lake would not successfully pursue the Cypress box for the remainder of the first half. 

Near the end of the half, Cypress made an opportunistic push down field. Rushed touches and pass miscues prevented the No. 6 offense from finding the net. Each ensuing Cypress cross was met by a Forest Lake touch to redirect a chance. With two minutes left, the Chargers had a huge opportunity on goal. Megan Alcantara booted the ball out of reach of the keeper which banged off the crossbar and out of bounds. In a competitive first 45 minutes, the whistle blew with Cypress down one at the half, 0-1. 

To start the second half, the Chargers continued to push into the Falcons side of the field. Though Folsom Lake was up on the scoreboard, the momentum and energy was on Cypress's side. The Chargers positioned themselves well for opportunities but would miss high or wide of the net. The constant pressure paid off at the 52nd minute as the Chargers finally found the back of the net. From a corner kick, Jasmin Martinez placed a beautiful ball in front of the keeper to create action in the box. Amber Mielke headed the ball against the post which bounced off the Falcons keeper's back and into the goal. The electrifying score excited the Chargers sideline and rewarded the offense for their consistent offensive pressure. For the remainder of the second half, Cypress limited any Folsom Lake offense and made the Falcons keeper make continuous close saves. Confidence poured out of the Chargers bench and led to five consecutive corner kicks from the 83rd to the 86th minute. The intense end to regulation finished as a tie with the two teams to end the 3C2A Tournament in extra time.

In overtime, Folsom Lake improved their offensive push as they applied more pressure on the Chargers side of the field. An uneventful first overtime half ended scoreless which pushed it to a second and final 15 minute period. With every blocked shot by Folsom Lake, the energy shifted towards the Falcons side. The final whistle blew for the final overtime period and the match headed toward shootouts. Shootouts gave each side the opportunity to find the back of the net as Folsom Lake and Cypress scored their first four shots. However, the Falcons would make their fifth shot and block the Chargers final attempt. The save cemented the match as Cypress came up short in penalty kicks. The Chargers were honored as the runner ups in the 3C2A Tournament and ended their long successful 2023 season.