Capistrano Valley High was looking for revenge and Simi Valley was looking for a title when the schools met in the Southern Section 4-A girls’ soccer championship Friday. But the Cougars walked away with both after an overtime victory at Gahr High in Cerritos.
The Cougars edged Simi Valley, 4-3, to more than make up for a one-goal loss to the Pioneers in December. Cougar forward Rebeca Linhart, double-teamed by Simi Valley defenders Shannon Cunningham and Tammi Kauffman, broke loose to score the game-winning goal from five yards with two minutes remaining in the extra period.
“It is a bit of a revenge game,” Capistrano Valley Coach Steve Bignal said. "(But) it doesn’t matter who we would have played. We wanted to play as well as we could against anyone.”
The teams that met Friday weren’t the same ones that squared off in the previous meeting, however. Simi Valley, for instance, was without the services of Michelle Light, a junior halfback who suffered a knee injury in a quarterfinal playoff victory over Mission Viejo.
That left the scoring duties to fullback Kim Taketa, who almost saved the day for Simi Valley. Taketa found the upper-right corner of the Capistrano Valley net from 20 yards to tie the score, 3-3, with 12 minutes remaining in regulation.
Capistrano Valley opened the scoring when striker Maureen Durmmy booted a shot into the middle of the net from two yards at the 22-minute mark. Simi Valley had a chance to tie the score, but Capistrano Valley goalkeeper Suzy Bone made a diving save on Tania Tande’s shot from 20 yards.
The Cougars boosted their advantage to 2-0 on a goal by midfielder Ginger Frank with four minutes left in the first half. But four minutes was all the Pioneers needed to cut the lead in half. Halfback Stephanie Gainey directed a head shot beyond the reach of Bone on an assist from Taketa with 15 seconds remaining.
The Pioneers (24-3-2) tied the score, 2-2, 14 minutes into the second half when freshman forward Amy Hunter’s shot from 15 yards caromed off the crossbar, hitting halfback Gina Skinner in the chest before dropping across the goal line.
It didn’t take Capistrano Valley (23-5-1) long to regain the lead. Linhart, dribbling downfield on a breakaway, went one-on-one with Simi Valley goalkeeper Kim Duran and placed a shot into the lower-left corner of the net for a 3-2 lead after 58 minutes.
The loss caught Simi Valley Coach Mark Johnson off guard. “I really thought we were going to win the game,” Johnson said.
Capistrano Valley, the South Coast League champion, controlled the pace early in the match but Simi Valley, runner-up in the Marmonte League, began to exert itself just before halftime.
Simi Valley finished the opening 40 minutes with 10 shots on goal, most coming in the final 10 minutes of the period. The Pioneers directed 23 shots on goal in the match.
Taketa’s goal was her 19th, a team high.