After watching their respective teams battle to a 1-1 tie in the San Diego Section 3-A girls’ soccer championship match, Torrey Pines High School Coach Dennis Costello and Poway Coach Gary Bradshaw thought the result left something unsettled.
But if there was anything settled in Saturday’s match at Torrey Pines, it was that the two Palomar League rivals are as evenly matched as possible.
Torrey Pines, which finished second in the league, and Poway, which finished third, met four times this season. The teams tied, 1-1, in an early tournament and each team won, 1-0, at home during league play, which helped to set up Saturday’s championship match.
After a scoreless first half, Poway scored first on a goal by Allison Gibson with 8:38 remaining in regulation. Torrey Pines tied the match 3:30 later on soccer’s answer to the Hail Mary pass and the half-court shot.
Torrey Pines’ Danielle Napoli tried to cross the ball from the far right side of the field.
“I was just trying to get the ball in front and I hoped somebody would knock it in,” said Napoli. “That’s the worst angle ever.”
Napoli didn’t have to worry about somebody knocking the ball in as her shot hit the left goal post at ground level and bounced into the corner to tie the score.
“I’m so short and everybody is usually taller than me, I didn’t even know that it went in,” said Napoli, who stands 5-foot-2.
The match ended in a tie because two years ago, the section’s coaches advisory committee decided to forgo penalty kicks to break ties.
Neither coach wanted penalty kicks, but Bradshaw thought the teams should keep playing overtimes until somebody scored. Costello suggested the teams come back and play again at a later date.
But at least one player was happy with the way the match ended.
“It’s great,” Napoli said. “We’re just two great teams.”