Nathan Mollat/Daily Journal
Sacred Heart Prep goalkeeper Blair Hamilton, left, gets to the ball before Burlingame’s Rachel Byrd can get a head on it during the Gators’ 2-1 upset of the No. 3 Panthers Saturday.
With the Burlingame girls’ soccer team clinging to a 1-0 lead with 10 minutes left to play in its Central Coast Section Division III quarterfinal game Saturday morning, Sacred Heart Prep was awarded a penalty kick.
When Tierna Davidson’s shot was stopped by Burlingame goalkeeper Nina Chikanov, Burlingame coach Philip DeRosa thought his team might pull out the win.
“I thought it was an omen,” DeRosa said.
It was — and not a good one for the Panthers. Sacred Heart Prep, which was the better side all game long and had plenty of scoring chances, scored twice during a two-minute span over the final 10 minutes to shock Burlingame and advance to the Division III semifinals Wednesday.
Davidson more than atoned for her missed penalty kick as she tallied both goals for the Gators in the final 10 minutes.
“I just told myself I had to make up for [the missed penalty kick],” Davidson said. “I knew if I kept working we’d get one in.”
With five minutes to play in regulation, Davidson took a pass from Cameron Gordon at the top left corner of the Burlingame penalty box. Davidson sidestepped a defender to find some space and unleashed a shot that slipped inside the far right post for the equalizing goal.
Two minutes later in the 77th minute, Davidson struck the game winner. Davidson received a pass just past midfield and carried the ball to the endline, holding off a defender the whole while. She managed to turn the corner along the endline before sending what looked like a cross to front of the goal.
Davidson, however, put just enough spin on the ball that it curved in just under the crossbar for the game winner.
“It was a shot,” Davidson said. “I realized I didn’t have too many players (crashing) on the back post.
“It was pretty magical.”
And pretty horrific if you were a Burlingame player or fan.
“Wow. Five minutes to go in the game,” DeRosa said. “It’s so uncharacteristic of a Burlingame team to give up goals like that at the end. … You have to give credit to Sacred Heart. Two beautiful shots from that left side. … To give up two goals like that is heartbreaking.
“It just wasn’t mean to be.”
There was a feeling SHP (18-2-2) was going to get a goal sooner or later. The Gators dominated the first possession and had a number of quality scoring chances, only to come up empty.
“We were patient,” said SHP coach Ramiro Arrendondo. “We knew we’d have a few more looks (in the second half).”
Burlingame played much better in the second half and started to put some pressure on the Gators.
Midway through the final 40 minutes, Burlingame scored on a goal out of nowhere. A pass was sent into the SHP penalty box and after a scramble, the ball squirted out to Burlingame midfielder Rachel Byrd, who sent a low, hard shot on goal.
In baseball parlance, it was a see-eye goal, as the ball managed to get through a mass of traffic in front of the net before nestling into the left corner for a 1-0 Burlingame lead.
The Gators had a number of quality opportunities go by the wayside following the Panthers goal, but it all came together in the final 10 minutes.
“[This win] just means the world,” Davidson said. “People have underestimated us. It’s nice to go out and finish what we started.”
The win sends the Gators into the Division III semifinals where they will face No. 7 Scotts Valley, which knocked off No. 2 Live Oak 1-0 Saturday. The game is scheduled for a 4:30 p.m. kickoff Wednesday at Westmont High School.
Menlo School 5, Terra Nova 0
After leading 1-0 at halftime, the top-seeded Knights erupted for four second-half goals as the Knights continue their quest to defend their CCS title.
Sierra Stritter continued her strong play, tallying a pair of goals and an assist in the win for Menlo (16-3-2). Stritter gave her team a 1-0 lead on a goal in the 12th minute and then doubled the lead in the 52nd minute. Twelve minutes later, Chandler Wickers found the back of the net and two minutes after that, Stritter set up Wickers for her second goal of the game. McKenzie Doyle rounded out the scoring by cleaning up a rebound following a shot from Emily Demmons.
The Knights will take on No. 12 Priory, which beat No. 13 King’s Academy 1-0. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Milpitas High School.
Santa Clara 1, Carlmont 0
After scoring goals in bushels during the regular season, the Scots picked the wrong time to struggle putting the ball in the net.
After being held scoreless and advancing on penalty kicks in a first-round win over No. 13 Salinas, Carlmont (13-6-3) was blanked again by the No. 5 Bruins.
Woodside 2, Saratoga 1
The Wildcats kept alive their chances of repeating as CCS champion with a win over No. 12 Saratoga Saturday afternoon.
Fourth-seeded Woodside scored a goal in each half to advance to Wednesday’s match against No. 8 St. Ignatius at 4:30 p.m. at Burlingame High School.
St. Ignatius knocked off top-seeded St. Francis 1-0 in overtime.
It was a pair of underclassmen who led the way for Woodside (17-2-3), with sophomore Jillienne Aguilera and freshman Alex Augulis each finding the back of the net for Woodside.
Allison Miller and McKenzie Person each picked up an assist for the Wildcats.