In a game that most likely decided the Western State Conference North Division title, the Pirates' soccer team could not overcome a two-goal deficit in their 2-1 setback against Santa Barbara at the Sportsplex on Sunday night. Jacky Espinosa netted the Pirates lone goal in a comeback bid that fell just short. Aracely Castro had four saves in goal.
Similarly to the first meeting between the teams on Oct. 1, Santa Barbara took a 1-0 lead midway through the first half, then added to it in the 62nd minute with their second goal.
The Pirates mounted a furious comeback effort, and halved the deficit when Yareli Vasquez assisted Espinosa's goal in the 74th minute. Ventura could not find the equalizer, however, falling by the 2-1 result.
Ventura (11-5-3, 6-3-1) falls to third place in the conference race with 19 points. SBCC (7-1-2) is in first with 23 points and Cuesta (6-3-2) is in second with 20 points. Both the Vaqueros and Pirates have two games remaining and Cuesta has one.
The Pirates will travel to San Luis Obispo on Tuesday Nov. 12 for a battle for second place with the Cougars before returning home for the regular season finale with Los Angeles Pierce on Friday Nov. 15.