For the second straight time in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs, the Corona del Mar High girls’ soccer team survived penalty kicks.
The difference from the first time and the second time is more CdM fans witnessed the Sea Kings keep their season alive. And they made sure to celebrate with the Sea Kings on the field.
Corona del Mar won the second-round match against Upland in a shootout, 4-3, after the two sides didn’t score in regulation and overtime on Wednesday.
The Sea Kings decided to play at home, instead of at Jim Scott Stadium, where they opened the postseason and played half of their matches this season. A big crowd turned out to support CdM and it stayed the entire 80 minutes of regulation and 20 minutes of overtime.
No team found the back of the net during the 100 minutes of action. There would be goals in the nail-biting shootout situation.
Middleton stood way in the back, before Shelby Brown lined up to take CdM’s first penalty. Middleton went with Brown, after her gutty comeback. Brown sprained her left ankle in the 20th minute, and it appeared the junior midfielder was done for the match.
Brown, with a limp, returned with seven minutes left in regulation. She played in overtime. While Upland goalkeeper Tiffany Zhang stopped Brown’s shot, Brown’s presence seemed to lift the Sea Kings.
The rest of the Sea Kings (13-5-4) who faced Zhang scored. Nicole Lloyd went top shelf, Zoe Condon froze Zhang, and Caroline Bethel and Brianna Westrup each beat Zhang to Zhang’s right.
All CdM needed was for goalkeeper Kendall Mulvaney to come through once again in a clutch situation. She made a game-saving save in the 79th minute against Upland, and she was the one who made the key block during penalty kicks against Fountain Valley in Friday’s first-round match.
Mulvaney, who finished with 10 saves, including one in the shootout, didn’t have to get her gloves or body on the next ball. Christina Tucker’s line drive hit the left post and bounced away from the goal, and Pacific Coast League champion CdM became the first team this season to defeat Upland (13-1-8), a second-place team from the Baseline League.
“I think we have confidence going into PKs now,” said a straight-faced Middleton, whose team will be making its sixth quarterfinal appearance in Middleton’s 12 seasons in charge on Friday, when CdM travels to face third-seeded Foothill (15-4-6). “We’re enjoying this. The last six games have been incredible. We just look toward the next match.”