The Falcons (13-2-1) earned the victory over Big Valley (8-7-2) at the Tracy Learning Center, but still got a reminder of how easily a game could slip away.
The Lions took a 1-0 lead into the half after striker Janelle Flory fought her way past Millennium goalie Hailey Rockwell to score the game’s first goal.
Coach Mario Ron responded with a halftime speech, figuring that his players might be overconfident, since they had already beaten Big Valley — the first seed from the Central California Athletic Alliance — twice in league play.
He reminded the girls that the second half could have been the end of their season.
“We had a Vince Lombardi speech: ‘We have 40 minutes, and if we don’t capitalize on that 40 minutes, it’s good bye. We’ll be standing there watching.’” he said. “They dug deep and got it done.”
Sophomore forward Ivy Torres, who scored both Falcon goals, said that in the first half her team didn’t match Big Valley.
“They had momentum. They had a lot of energy,” she said. “I feel like they had more heart the first half, but we had more passion at the end.”
Torres tied the game up six minutes into the second half on a corner kick from the left that curved the ball into the right side of the goal.
Big Valley goalie Kyleigh Biondolillo blocked four more Falcon shots before Flores made a repeat of her first goal 31 minutes into the half, again curving the ball in on a corner kick.
The Lions made a push in the final two minutes, but Rockwell blocked a shot, and two others went wide.
Millennium will play in the Division VII championship game against either Trinity Prep of Napa or Elliot Christian of Lodi. The game will be Saturday, May 19, with time and location yet to be determined.
Turlock knocks Tracy out of playoffs
The Tracy High soccer team is done for the season after the Bulldogs from Turlock High won Tuesday’s quarterfinal match on a penalty kick shootout, 4-3.
The teams were tied 0-0 in regulation and through two overtime periods May 15, and Turlock won the subsequent shootout.
Turlock now heads to Elk Grove to face Franklin High on Thursday, May 17, and St. Mary’s will play Folsom in Stockton on Thursday.
The winners of those games will play for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I championship Saturday, May 19.