WOMEN'S SOCCER: In the post-season, the difference between advancing and going home can be a razor-thin margin. In soccer that margin can be microscopic. On Saturday, the VC women's soccer team hosted Orange Coast in the Southern California Regional Quarterfinals, and for 117 minutes, the Pirates and Pirates stood toe-to-toe. But one solid shot on an attack with three minutes to play turned the course of the match. Instead of heading to penalty kicks to decide victory, Orange Coast left the Sportsplex with it in hand, and Ventura was left with the agony of defeat, but also pride in the good fight in the game, and all season long.
The teams fought for the first 45 minutes in a physical battle. Neither team was able to capitalize on their chances and they headed to the break in a 0-0 tie. OCC finally found the net in the 59th minute of play, taking a 1-0 lead. Ventura kept up the fight, and 14 minutes later, Ashley Borrell headed the ball across the goal box and Abigail Littleton beat the keeper to the ball to slide it just inside the left post. With the score tied, the teams remained scoreless for the final 18 minutes of regulation time.
In the first extra period, the teams continued their physical play, but neither could find the net. But late in the second extra period with penalty kicks in sight, Orange Coast hit a shot sending them to the regional semifinals, ending Ventura's season.
The Pirates finished the year at 14-5-2, and fought through injuries to key personnel to finish second in the Western State Conference. They also earned head coach Steve Hoffman's 300th win, and the program's 200th WSC victory along the way. With many freshmen returning for 2014, and surely another talented crop of newcomers coming in, ook for the legacy of excellence to continue for the VC women's soccer team.