EAGLE ROCK — Some players are terrified at the thought of penalties kicks.
Then there are others like Burbank High’s Kira Bochard, who masks whatever concerns she has with fearless play.
The Bulldogs senior stopped two shootout shots and converted the match-winner in Burbank’s 2-2 (3-1) victory in penalty kicks over Pasadena Mayfield Senior in the wild-card round of the CIF Southern Section Division IV playoffs at Occidental College on Tuesday afternoon.
With the victory, the Pacific League fourth-place Bulldogs (6-9-4) earned advancement to Thursday’s first-round match at Gold Coast League champion Brentwood (13-3-1) at 3 p.m.
“My mentality is that I’m going to do everything that I can to win this game and win it for my team because it’s my senior year,” Bochard said. “Any game now – knockout round – could be my last game, so I want to make sure that everything I give, I’m giving it my all.”
The senior became the third Bulldog to don the goalie’s jersey in Tuesday’s match and came in cold for penalty kicks.
The move looked shaky after Mayfield’s Lauren Lo Coco converted her team’s first try, which was matched by Burbank’s Cynthia De La Cruz.
Yet, Lo Coco’s goal was the only one the Cubs (8-6-6) converted, as Bochard stopped two of Mayfield’s next three attempts with the other try sailing high over the cross.
Though Burbank missed its second penalty try, senior Priscilla Romero put her team ahead, 2-1, with a goal, while Bochard nailed the match-winner for a 3-1 victory.
“PKs are definitely a dreadful thing. Even for professional players they can be hard,” said Bochard, who added that she hadn’t played goalie in four years. “I just wanted to go out there, do what I could and I can’t believe I stopped a couple of those balls.”
Prior to the shootout, Mayfield out-shot Burbank, 5-0, in the 20-minute overtime session and nearly won in the 95th minute on a disastrous back pass that clanked off the post.
For the contest, Mayfield won the shots battle, 18-7.
The Bulldogs appeared in trouble after Mayfield’s Maddie Joseph converted a spectacular 35-yard goal in the 57th minute to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead.
At that moment, Burbank was on goalie No. 2 as senior Nicole Winters was injured and taken out in the 44th minute. Burbank junior Adrianna Sarukhanyan also hobbled off in the 52nd minute.
“We don’t come back in this game unless the girls have strong bonds like they do,” Burbank Coach Eric Montoya said. “All year, somebody big has been stepping up and today it was Kira.”
The equalizer came in the 65th minute when a throw-in from senior Danielle Yanez was neatly chipped in by senior Isabella Palau, which tied the score at 2.
Yanez appeared to have assisted the game-winner in the 75th minute when she found Sarukhanyan, who one-timed a goal off a throw-in. The goal, however, was quickly called off by the official, who called an illegal thrown- in.
Burbank led, 1-0, at halftime but surrendered that advantage on a gritty goal from Mayfield’s Nadia O’Reilly, who scored from three yards despite being pushed from behind.
On the play, Winters smacked against the post, was taken out and was replaced by Romero in goal until late in regulation.
As for the first half, the Bulldogs tallied the only score via a set piece.
Yanez lofted a corner kick that bounced once and was headed in from 12 yards by Bochard in the 12th minute to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.
“It’s been a rough season, but this win is great,” Yanez said. “We build off the success we had in the game and kept on shooting. Even when we missed, we came back and fought.”