The Jaguars had a chance to win the first girls soccer City Section title in school history in front of hundreds of fans. They faced Fremont High School in the final for the CIF L.A. City Section Division II Girls’ Soccer Championship on March 5 at L.A. Valley College.
The first half of the game went scoreless. The Jaguars had possession of the ball during most of the first half, but Fremont played lockdown defense and wouldn’t allow the Jaguars to move the ball up the field and score.
During the second half of the game, the Jaguars had opportunities to score, but they could not get the ball into the net. The game was physical both on defense and offense. Each team had chances to score, but couldn’t.
Regulation ended at a 0-0 tie, sending the game into overtime.
“Going 0-0 into overtime was hard for us,” said captain Kimberly Alvarez, a senior in the Technology & Media magnet.
The Jaguars did not want to go into a penalty shootout. They were desperately looking to score in overtime.
There were two 10-minute overtime halves played. The first overtime went scoreless. It seemed inevitable the game was going to be decided by a penalty shootout.
Both teams and supporters alike were on the edge of their seats as the second overtime began. Supporters and players waited to see if the game was going into a penalty shootout.
In the final minutes of overtime, the unthinkable happened. A goal was scored.
“I didn’t even eat breakfast [this morning] because I was really nervous,” said Ashlynn Gonzalez, a freshman in the Technology & Media magnet. She scored the only goal of the game and lifted the Jaguars to victory.
The Jaguars all ran to Gonzalez to celebrate the goal. The bench jumped up and down in excitement. The crowd roared as loud as they could. The Jaguars were a couple of minutes away from winning a City Section championship.
When the referee blew the whistle signaling the end of the game, the Jaguars stormed onto the field to celebrate their victory.
Girls broke into tears after realizing they had just won a championship and also as they were presented with their championship medals.
The Jaguars lifted the trophy with pride and excitement.
“I feel really good because I remember we had a bad team [my sophomore year],” said captain Brenda Liazola, a senior in the Technology & Media magnet.
A couple of years ago, the girls soccer program was not doing well, but in just two years it has become a championship-winning program.
“We’ve improved so much since my freshman year,” Alvarez added.
The girls thanked their fans for the support as the crowd gave them a well-deserved applause and standing ovation.