By Tom Cormack
In a roller coaster of a match the Lady Broncs lost 5-4 to Coalinga in CIF playoff action last Wednesday.
Kern Valley roared to a 3-0 lead in the first 30 minutes of the game. Katie Lamping initiated the first goal of the game with an interception she sent to Ali Hansen for the delivery to Abby Goulding who scored to make it 1-0 Lady Broncs. Two minutes later Bella Williams intercepted another pass and cleared it to Danielle Debski for a drive deep into Coalinga’s territory before she sent it to Hansen for the score. Now the Lady Broncs were up 2-0.
Lamping was forced off the pitch with a game ending injury leaving a hole in the attack that Aubrey Barkley worked hard to fill. Twenty five minutes into the half the Lady Broncs solidified their lead as Debski stole the ball and passed it to Arika D’Amico who delivered a blistering shot on goal that was parried by the keeper, picked up by Barkley who drove persistently, and aggressively through a battle with the keeper before running into the back of the net to make the score 3-0.
Coalinga appeared to be on the ropes until a weak Coalinga shot snuck through the defense and into the goal. Coalinga responded with renewed hope, scoring two more in the final minutes of the half to leave the score tied at 3-3 at the half.
Coalinga roared into the second half with a goal in the first minute of play to give them the lead 4-3.
Coalinga solidified their lead 10 minutes later with their final goal making the score 5-3.
Kern Valley fought back with energy battling hard in Coalinga’s penalty area and earning a penalty kick for a foul in the box. Hansen stepped to the mark and put away a fine PK to bring Kern Valley to within one. Yet, strive as hard as they would, the Lady Broncs could not score the needed goal and ended the game with a 5-4 loss.
Head coach Tom Cormack said, “This has been a challenging year for us. After graduating so many fine seniors from last year’s league champion team, we put together a very competitive line up early in the season. Then, three season ending injuries and a move left us with four more major vacancies to fill. The youngsters, some of whom had never played soccer before, stepped up to the challenge and, with the help of the veteran seniors, made very good progress in filling those large vacant shoes. I am proud of them for their never-say-die spirit and endurance to finish each game strong, battling back until the final whistle.”