SACRAMENTO, Calif.- The 2013 season came to an abrupt end for the Cosumnes River women's soccer team tonight in the third round of the CCCAA Nor Cal regional playoffs, as the Hawks dropped a close one to Foothill 2-1 amid controversy. CRC was a win away from competing in the CCCAA State Championships, which open next week here, at Cosumnes River College.
The match was exciting right from the opening whistle, as Foothill opened up aggressively on offense, controlling the first 20 minutes of action. The Hawks managed to stave off the barrage of shots, finally attacking more on their end toward the latter part of the first half. Crystal Vega, a sophomore out of nearby Franklin took the lead for the Hawks on a score following a deflection by Brianna Ascencio, at 39:36 as CRC took a 1-0 lead into the intermission.
CRC's vaunted defense, which has been the Hawks calling card all season, continued to be outstanding through most of the second half as they remained in control with a 1-0 lead through the first 76 minutes. However at 76:44, CRC was called for a handball in the box, resulting in a Foothill penalty kick. Brittany Squarcia, Foothill's leading scorer, managed to find the net behind a diving Anna Brown to tie the match at one with roughly 13 minutes to play. In the 88th minute however, Mili Cosare converted a deflected ball into a Foothill score, as the Owls took the lead for the first time in the match.
Cosumnes River took the offensive in the remaining minutes, getting the ball behind the Owls defense in stoppage time to create a 1 on 1 opportunity for the freshman Ascencio. That's when controversy struck, as it appeared Ascencio was tripped by a Foothill defender in the box, which could have resulted in a red card and an attempt to tie the match at two for the Hawks. Ascencio fell into the keeper, who collected the ball before clearing it, leaving an injured Ascencio on the turf. The Cosumnes River home crowd and coaching staff reacted furiously with the non-call, as the team would not get another opportunity to score, sealing their fate with a 2-1 loss to Foothill.
The Hawks complete the season with a 14-6-3 mark, making it all the way into the third round of the CCCAA Nor Cal regional playoffs. The loss snaps a three match winning streak for CRC. Foothill advances to the CCCAA State Championships, which open early next month at Cosumnes River College.