As the cool November air rolls around late in the fall, so does the intense heat of the Fresno City College women’s soccer playoffs. The Rams’ women’s soccer team finished the regular season 18-2-2 and ranked #3 overall in the Northern California Region.
The team currently boasts a 2-0 playoff record and enters round three of the Northern California
Regionals after making quick work of Foothill College in the first round of the playoffs and Folsom Lake College in a competitive second-round matchup.
The Rams defeated the Foothill College Owls on Nov. 23 3-0 in a contest where the team only needed 16 minutes to put three goals on the board.
According to head coach Oliver Germond, the Rams early high energy offense hasn’t been present for much of this season, but even the players saw the turnaround in that match.
“We came off a loss to end the regular season, and I felt like that just really made us realize that we needed to come ready. We need to show up and give everything. I think that’s exactly what we did,” said freshman forward Megan Galvan.
The first goal was scored by sophomore defender Kiki Montano and assisted by sophomore center Anai Rosas in the first four minutes of the matchup. Montano’s goal was soon followed up by one from Galvan.
At 7:00, Galvan’s goal came off the post and crossed the line, but it was only after a late whistle that the team was awarded the goal. Freshman left winger Brooke Wristen was credited with the assist.
The final goal also came from a Rosas assist when sophomore defender Julianna Garcia rifled one into the net at 16:00.
In the second round of the playoffs, the Rams battled Folsom Lake in a Tuesday match that was ultimately decided by a penalty kick shootout.
Both teams were held scoreless during regulation despite the Rams’ ball domination. Similar to most games this year, FCC held possession of the ball and control of the game, but uncharacteristically couldn’t make anything of it.
The Rams were aggressive for the first half of the game, and were able to create opportunities for themselves, including a few corner kicks that they were unable to capitalize on.
“We were the aggressor in the first 20 minutes of that game, and that’s when we created opportunities. That’s what we talked about, and I thought we did a great job,” said Germond.
As the game moved on, the play become more physical with both teams drawing penalties late in the game. The match moved into overtime, where both teams drew flags.
The first came from Folsom Lake’s sophomore forward Sarah Freed, who received a red card for some physical contact against a Rams player. The second came from Rams’ defender Bella Hopkins, who also received a yellow card of her own after inducing some rough contact.
When overtime concluded, both teams remained scoreless and headed into a penalty kick shootout.
According to Montano, the team felt excited and confident heading into penalty kicks. “We didn’t want to feel nervous. We’re trying to make our nervous emotions into some excitement” said Montano.
The victory was sealed by the efforts of FCC’s freshman goalkeeper Melanie Jimenez’s amazing efforts. Folsom’s first shot sailed over the goal, but the next two were stopped by Jimenez despite their picturesque placement toward the corners.
The date and opponent of the Rams’ next match remain to be determined as seeding follows