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Ocean View girls' soccer falls to Crean Lutheran in penalty kicks

One thing that the Ocean View High girls' soccer team has felt too much recently is heartbreak.

For the fourth time in the last five seasons, the Seahawks sustained an opening-round loss in the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

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After a scoreless regulation and overtime, Ocean View was defeated by host Crean Lutheran 4-3 in a penalty-kick shootout that decided Tuesday's Division 4 wild-card game.

Jackie Lari, Ally Violette, Maddie Sato and Kaila Ebeling scored on their penalty kicks for the Saints (10-9-2), helping them advance to the first round at Laguna Beach on Thursday.

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Lari, Crean Lutheran's senior goalkeeper, did whatever her team needed. At times, she was sent out to the field as a forward. In the shootout, she got stronger with each successive round.

On the Seahawks' third attempt, Lari guessed right, but junior Analisa Chavez was still able to sneak her shot through to give Ocean View a 3-2 lead.

After Sato lifted her attempt up and under the bar to knot it at 3-3, Lari stopped freshman Bella Messina to get the Saints back even entering the fifth round.

Ebeling was the only player to attempt a strike along the ground, and it worked. The senior shot the ball against the grain and past Seahawks junior Savannah Davis.

Lari's success on the previous attempt put added pressure on Ocean View freshman Fernanda Ortiz to produce the perfect shot in a must-convert situation. She powered through her penalty kick, but the shot struck the crossbar and stayed out.

"It was amazing," Lari said of winning on penalty kicks. "The girls worked really hard. I can't thank them enough. Our back line is solid. We wouldn't have been there without them.

"I have to trust them to do their job. They have to trust me to do my job. It's just how a team works. You have to work together."

The Seahawks, understandably, were disappointed. Third-year coach Jose Sanchez dropped to 0-3 in playoff openers, two of which have come via penalty kicks.

Ocean View (5-11-5), which finished third in the Golden West League, controlled possession in the contest. The Seahawks had eight shots on target, compared to just one for the Saints.

"Most of our games went this way," Sanchez said. "Most of our games, we carried possession of the ball and we created chances. We just weren't able to put the ball in. I feel disappointed this year. Obviously, it hurts a little bit because you're the better team. It comes down to penalties, and they were more prepared than us.

"We had freshmen step up into the PK spot, and a lot of times, it takes a toll. It's a gamble that we have to take. I still feel proud of the girls."

Crean Lutheran's lone shot on goal was a header by sophomore defender Lexi Green off a corner kick by Sato. Ocean View's Jasmine Rocha did well to save it, as it was ticketed for the right corner.

The Saints also had an opportunity in the closing minute of the second overtime, but freshman Hannah Cumming's cross-cage shot on a partial breakaway went wide of the left post.

Ocean View's best chance in overtime was a touch in the box by Chavez, but the junior forward mishit it following the corner kick by senior defender Taylor Voegelie.

"On that play, I had everybody around me, and I was just like, 'What am I going to do? What am I going to do?' " Chavez said. "I took it, but it skimmed, and it messed up."

Twitter: @ProfessorTurner

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