Holtville High School junior Giselle Gasca (right) tries to hold off a defender from Morse High of San Diego during their CIF-San Diego Section Division V quarterfinal game at Birger Field in Holtville on Friday, May 21. | CATHI PHILLIPS LARIOS PHOTO
HOLTVILLE — A well-timed gust of wind and an indecisive goalkeeper helped the Holtville High girls’ soccer team reach the CIF-San Diego Section Division V semifinals when the Vikings beat Morse High of San Diego, 3-2, in the quarterfinals here on Friday, May 21.
With the game tied 2-2 and now in extra time of a sudden-death, 15-minute overtime period, Holtville junior Lesley Sandoval launched a high shot from about 25 yards away that got the assistance from a westerly wind and bounced in front of the Morse goalkeeper then over her head and into the goal to kick off a celebration on Birger Field for the Vikings.
“The ball had bounced off a couple of girls and I just kicked it as hard as I can hoping to do something with it,” said the 16-year-old Sandoval. “I didn’t think it was going to do anything because it went up like a rainbow and I thought the goalie was going to get it.”
Sandoval didn’t see the ball go into the net.
“I turned around and didn’t see it,” she said. “Then I see everybody running onto the field at me and that’s when I knew it went in.”
Holtville senior Amanda Strahm opened the scoring with a first half goal but Morse was able to tie the game before halftime at 1-1.
The Tigers took a 2-1 advantage early in the second half and it stayed that way until about 10 minutes left in the game when Strahm netted her second goal of the game to tie it 2-2.
During the sudden-death overtime, the Morse goalkeeper suffered an injury to add some extra time onto the normal 15 minutes. It was during that additional time that Sandoval was able to strike the magical kick.
The victory moves the top-seeded Vikings into the Division V semifinals where they will host Chula Vista Learning Community Center at 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 25. Chula Vista, the No. 4 seed in the playoffs, scored a 5-0 victory over Calvin Christian of Escondido in the quarterfinals on Friday, May 21.
The other semifinal on Tuesday will take place at Orange Glen High in Escondido as it will host Guajome Park Academy of Vista for the right to play in the championship game, set for 4:30 p.m. on Friday, May 28, at Eastlake High School in Chula Vista.