The top-seeded Mountain View High girls soccer team had more scoring chances in last week’s Northern California Division III quarterfinal match, but No. 8 Burlingame had the one that mattered most.
The visiting Panthers scored the game’s lone goal with approximately 10 minutes left in the first half – and it came on a long-range shot from defender Ella Macko.
“It was a bit on the lucky side,” Spartans coach Jeff Panos said. “It was a high, arcing shot from 40 yards that went over the keeper’s head and right under the crossbar.”
It was one of only two shots on goal by Burlingame March 3.
“We were all a bit surprised,” Mountain View forward Isabella Walker said of the goal. “A lot of goalies would have had a hard time with that one.”
Walker added that she was proud of the way her team responded to it, though.
“We worked our butts off after that,” the sophomore said. “We kept working hard and we created some chances, but unfortunately, they didn’t go in.”
Walker was among those who had a shot on goal thwarted by Burlingame goalkeeper Sophia Young. The Spartans’ best scoring opportunity came at the end of the first half on a 30-yard shot by defender Erin Coyne, according to Panos.
“The keeper made a diving save on a shot to the upper-right corner,” the coach said. “It was a fabulous chance.”
Earlier in the game, Mountain View forward Maru Lasala nearly scored on a breakaway.
“In the first 30 seconds, she dribbled into box and was one-on-one with the keeper,” Panos said, “but she put a heavy touch on the ball at the end and the keeper grabbed it.”
The Spartans (15-6-3 overall) had two more good chances in the second half, according to the coach, but they couldn’t get one past the defensive-minded Panthers (13-4-6).
“Their strategy was to sit back and defend and look for the counterattack,” Panos said.
He added that Burlingame was more physical than Mountain View’s last opponent, Sobrato – which the Spartans beat 3-0 in the Central Coast Section Division I final Feb. 29 – and that they sure could have used injured midfielder Sistine Noel.
“We all missed her,” she said of the team’s leading scorer, who sustained a knee injury in the CCS semifinals. “She would have made a great impact.”
While the season ended earlier than the Spartans hoped, Panos said it didn’t take away from all they achieved this year.
“We’re disappointed, because we expected to get by Burlingame at the very least, but the CCS championship was a massive accomplishment,” he said.
Walker also focused on the positive.
“We lost our last game, but we were happy to win CCS and move on to NorCal,” she said. “We’re happy to be a team – it’s an amazing group of players.”