Historic Win For PCC Women's Soccer At Mt. SAC In Double OT

Angie Grigoryan in action at Mt. SAC in team's game on Nov. 7 in Walnut (photo by Richard Quinton).
Angie Grigoryan in action at Mt. SAC in team's game on Nov. 7 in Walnut (photo by Richard Quinton).

Ever since the Pasadena City College women's soccer team was brought into the fold in 1997, the Lancers have played rival South Coast Conference rival Mt. San Antonio every single season. And for 27 meetings, including two this year, PCC had come up empty on the win board in games played at the Walnut campus.

On Saturday night, PCC finally ended that frustrating winless streak and did it on the grand stage--the Southern California Regional Playoffs. Hailey Hull scored her second goal of the game with five minutes left in the second overtime to give the #13-seeded Lancers a dramatic, 2-1 victory over #4 Mt. SAC.

Mt. SAC, the SCC North Division champions, 15-4-3, took a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute on a goal by Brianna Bernal. In the eighth minute, Veronica Aquino was poised to make it 2-0, but first-year Lancers goalie Francesca Agliolo stoned her with a leaping save to her left to keep it at a one-goal deficit. In a twist of irony, Aquino had scored on a PK v. Agliolo in PCC's regular season loss at Mt. SAC on Nov. 7, but this time it was Agliolo's turn to stop her. 

In the 14th minute, the freshman Hull received a cross from Michelle Navarro and buried a kick that tied it at 1-1.

In the second half, PCC thought it had taken a lead when Itzel Nunez headed in a corner kick by Gallardo, but it was called back as the referee ruled Nunez fouled a defender.

The score remained deadlock at the end of the 90 minutes, then the first 15-minute overtime period. In the second OT, Gallardo played a ball near the top of the box and delivered it to Hull for the game-winner. It was her fourth GW goal out her eight netted this season.

Agliolo was brilliant with nine saves as PCC's defense stayed tough behind the play of Nunez, Destiny Delgado, Delilah Vazquez, and Gallardo, who has become the team's leader in her overall play this season.

Mt. SAC had won 1-0 in the regular South Coast season, then defeated the Lancers, 5-0, in the semifinals of the SCC Tournament on Nov. 7. Both games were played at Mt. SAC, an advantage as it turned out for Pasadena.

"We told our squad it's really hard for a team to beat another three times in a season," said PCC head coach Terryn Soelberg. "I think also we had the familiarity of the field at Mt. SAC plus the incentive of being in the playoffs for the first time as a program in 11 years.

"I'm super proud of our performance. We went down a goal early but responded so well. The players played two hours of soccer and fought every minute."

The last time PCC defeated the Mounties was in 2017, a 1-0 win at Robinson Stadium. It was the program's first playoff victory since defeating Rio Hondo in the 2001 Regionals. Soelberg took over as head coach beginning with the 2021 season. 

PCC now travels for a Round 2 game at #5 seed Santa Barbara City College on Tuesday, Nov. 21.

The Lancers are 3-0 in their history v. the Vaqueros, who beat Rio Hondo, 2-1, on Saturday to move their season record to 12-3-6. SBCC is on an 11-game undefeated streak (8-0-3), but lost to Mt. SAC, 1-0, back on Sept. 22 and tied LA Harbor, 1-1, in its season opener. PCC defeated LAHC, 3-2, on Oct. 3 in conference play.

If not for the hard decision by the 3C2A to make the Lancers forfeit two games from the SCC Tournament due to playing over the 22 games limit (including two non-scoring scrimmages), the program would have broken the school record for victories in a season at now 17.

Instead PCC's overall mark remains 15-5-4 instead of the 17-3-4 record earned in played contests with no ineligible players.

The Lancers were all smiles after shocking Mt. SAC