Crescenta Valley Saves Best for Last, 1-0


Laura Fawcett and Melissa Watson won a soccer match for Crescenta Valley High without playing a minute.

After 120 minutes of regulation and overtime play failed to produce a goal, the two came off the bench for a series of penalty kicks that decided the match.

Fawcett came in as the host Falcons' goaltender and Watson scored the deciding penalty kick in a 1-0 victory over Apple Valley in the first round of the Southern Section Division II playoffs.

"I was shocked," said Watson, who did not play because of an injured left knee but put the Falcons (18-1-3) on top in penalty kicks, 4-3. "I didn't think I could do it, but (Coach) Judd (Bogust) kept telling me I would."

Watson's penalty kick came in sudden death, after a previous round of five kicks ended in a 3-3 tie. Watson tucked the ball away in the lower left corner of the net after the first--and only--sudden-death kick by Apple Valley (12-10-3) sailed over the net.

Inserted at goaltender because Bogust said she has better in-close instincts than starter Marla Nelson, Fawcett faced six kicks. Only three went past her.

The Falcons dominated, but couldn't crack Apple Valley's defense, which compressed seemingly everybody into the box. As a result, Crescenta Valley teed off and outshot the Sun Devils, 27-3, but couldn't beat goaltender Mikki Theis, who made 13 saves.

But when it mattered most, the Falcons got the ball past Theis.

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