Girls soccer: Maria Carrillo beats Montgomery in OT thriller

By PETER FOURNIER
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Montgomery's Tori Mollard, left, defends the goal against Maria Carrillo's Brittany Lore during Wednesday night's game. (Conner Jay / The Press Democrat)

Montgomery’s Tori Mollard, left, defends the goal against Maria Carrillo’s Brittany Lore during Wednesday night’s game. (Conner Jay / The Press Democrat)

It doesn’t matter how long you’re leading, but rather when.

Madison Gonzalez made sure the Maria Carrillo girls soccer team was in front when it mattered most Wednesday night.

Gonzalez’s two goals, the first to tie the game and the second to win it with less than two minutes to go in the second overtime period, allowed the Pumas to post a thrilling 3-2 victory against Montgomery.

“Isn’t her composure unbelievable?” Carrillo coach Debra LaPrath said. “She just gets fouled, she gets knocked into, she gets dropped, she has people cut her off and she spins around them. Just unbelievable composure. Who finishes goals like that? Maddy Gonzalez. That’s who.”

Gonzalez, a sophomore, knew time was running out in the final overtime period.

“I saw the clock was at two minutes, so I knew there was probably less than that left, and I had to calm down, because I probably knew that was going to be our last chance,” Gonzalez said. “So I had to be composed for my team.”

Montgomery (11-2, 6-2) grabbed the lead with 19:40 left in the first half when Taylor Ziemer sneaked behind the Pumas’ defense and found the back of the net from 10 yards out.

Carrillo (11-0-1, 8-0) responded with a goal from Brooke Dunbar with 7:35 left in the half. Just under 3 minutes later, Eden Brooker’s goal put the Vikings back on top 2-1 heading into intermission.

Gonzalez tied the game for the Pumas with 12:46 to go in the second half.

After a scoreless first overtime, which featured a flurry of exchanges at each team’s net, Gonzalez put in the game-winner with time dwindling in the second overtime.

“We come back as a second-half team,” LaPrath said. “We need to play 80 minutes and not play 40 and two overtimes. We need to do a better job of playing that second half.”

In her 17 years as Carrillo’s coach, LaPrath said it’s been a while since she’s seen a finish like that.

“Not in a long time,” she said. “A few times in playoffs, but not in a long time.”

Gonzalez thought the deficit wasn’t intimidating.

“We couldn’t let that get in our head either because we’ve been in that position before, and we just always calm down and we know how to finish the game off,” she said. “That’s what we do.”

Montgomery coach Pat McDonald said the intensity was just like any other recent matchup with the rival Pumas.

“Whenever we play, it’s always like this. It’s always, always close. The two teams, no matter what day of the week it is, or what year it is, we play each other really, really tough, and I think it showed.”

The girls’ game was the first of a doubleheader for the third annual Montgomery soccer Casting For Recovery fundraiser for breast cancer patients, run by Vikings boys soccer coach John Schwan. The boys played after the girls’ match.

Schwan’s grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer when he was 14.

“It’s a great event,” Schwan said. “We want to get a crowd out here for the kids, and if we’ve got to do something like this, and raise some money and make it not just about soccer, then that’s awesome.”

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