Bullard High Girls Soccer Beats #2 in the Nation-
Advances to State Championship Game
Last night the #4 seeded Bullard Knights upset the #1 seed (#2 nationally by ESPN Rise) San Clemente in the California State Semi-Finals game 3-2. Bullard played a physically and mentally tough game. Traveling 280 miles on game day to a very hostile envriroment after playing a very physical game 36 hrs earlier was not how the coaches would like to have managed the arrangements, but due to CIF rules, that was just the first of their challenges. Luckily, the 280 mile return trip arriving home at 2 a.m. was a happy one with girls regrouping and trying to take care of themselves in order to get back on a bus 14 hrs later to go back to Los Angeles for the Championship game Saturday.
Thursday night's game found the Knights battling for all 80++++++ minutes. San Clemente was extremely physical and was guilty of many player fouls including a red card by their goalkeeper for clotheslining Cassandra Fasi on her breakaway. Unfortunately, the ref did not give Bullard a PK, and the Knights were unable to capitalize on a what would have been goal. A few minutes later, the Tritons were called for another foul outside of the box and this time Jenna Thomason found the net. Minutes later Lynn Williams went streaking down the sideline and delivered a perfect cross which Morgan Darling one touched into the back of the net with her left foot giving the Knights a 2-0 lead.
San Clemente continued the physical play and fouled Fasi many more times throughout the night, but Fasi dug deep and continued playing through the pain. Darling also was the recipient of many flagrant fouls and was fighting back tears of pain during the second half. San Clemente was able to tie the game with about 20 minutes left. The calls were definitely in their favor the entire seocnd half as the Bullard fans grew frustrated. With 10 minutes left the Tritons got beat by speedster Lynn Williams and she finished a beautiful run with the goalie laying dejected on the ground. Again, the Knights were on top and alive again. The Knights defense lead by Amanda Johnson dug deep and held off the intense pressure of the Tritons and the favoritism of the head referree. With little time lef the Tritons were awarded free kicks whenever they slipped and fell, or when someone was near them. They were also awarded a succession of corner kicks that were blatantly called for them, despite the obvious fact that it was out on them.
Finally, after time had expired a minute earlier a whistle blew and the team rushed the field in celebration of beating the Tritons!!! But wait, it wasn't over the ref was actually calling a foul. No one knew why or who, but it was another free kick, and they didn't score. The game continued for another 3+ minutes with the Tritons being awarded free kick after free kick. Finally, Bullard cleared it and Williams was on a clean breakaway with the Triton Goalkeeper on offense. Lynn had to just dribble by herself 50 yards to the goal and the whistle blew, game over. Of course, none of the fans were surprised!!! The girls rushed the field for a second celebration, they had done it!!! The final score after the extra time should have been 4-2, and let's not forget the earlier clothesline, it could have been 5-2.
Next up for the girls is lots of ice!!! This Saturday, they are back on the field to face Torrey Pines for the State Championships!!! This time they are bringing 3 busloads of fans to cheer them on!!! Go Knights!!!