The Millennium girls soccer team was denied the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VII title after the Falcons ran up against a strong Ripon Christian defense on Saturday at Lincoln High in Stockton.
The teams played to a 1-1 tie in regulation and the Ripon Christian Knights won the penalty kick shootout 4-1.
It was a tough way to lose after the Falcons came back from an early deficit and controlled the ball for most of the second half.
"Obviously you want a different result and you hope we could be a little more decisive in our spot kicks, but nobody feels it more than (the Millennium players) do," Millennium coach Dominic Figueroa said.
Senior forward Ivy Torres said that while her team had the advantage on offensive drives the Falcons (15-2-2, 13-1 Central California Athletic Alliance) had to contend with a defense that guarded well against Ripon Christian’s best shots.
"I'm really proud of each and every one of my teammates, because they fought so hard," Torres said. "We definitely left everything on the field. We truly deserved to win this game."
Ripon Christian (21-2-1, 13-1 Southern League) scored in the fourth minute when Adrianna Van Groningen fired a corner kick to Cynthia Van Vliet, who made the shot.
The Falcon defense turned back most of the Knights' attacks after that. Sophomore goalie Anekha Birdi blocked five shots.
The Falcons tied it up in the 21st minute when Torres passed from the left up to junior Victoria Garza, who shot the ball over the Ripon Christian goalie and into the net.
Millennium kept up the pressure in the second half, with Ripon Christian goalie Bryanna Heida making 10 saves to keep the score tied 1-1 at the end of regulation play and through two 10-minute overtime periods.
Millennium junior Hanna Moyer made the Falcons' only shot in the penalty kick shootout, with Heida blocking one shot and another Falcon shot going wide. Ripon Christian aimed for the left side each time and made four of four shots.
It’s the third time in the past four years that Millennium’s girls soccer team has played for a division title, with the Falcons winning it in 2011 and 2012.
Contact Bob Brownne at firstname.lastname@example.org or 830-4227.