The St. Bernard’s girls dominated the second half of their North Coast Section soccer championship showdown with Technology on Saturday afternoon, but came up just short, falling 1-0 at Rancho Cotate HS in Rohnert Park.
The Titans scored the winning goal with just three minutes remaining in the game on a wonderful strike from well outside the penalty area, netting against the run of play to clinch their first ever NCS championship.
The game was the first for either team in three weeks after a series of postponements due to the recent poor air quality in the Bay Area.
And the first half was evenly matched with both teams creating chances from equal possession.
The second half, however, was all Crusaders who began to exert their control on the contest.
Senior Jasa Sisemore was inspirational in her final game, anchoring the defense as she has done all year, while creating some of the team’s best opportunities going forward.
“In the second half, we totally dominated,” St. Bernard’s assistant coach Phil Rouse said. “We kept springing Jasa forward and sending her up into attack.”
The Technology goalkeeper, however, kept her team in the game, with several one-on-one stops.
“We couldn’t put our chances away,” Rouse said. “We did all the right things, we just couldn’t put them away.”
If the result was obviously disappointing for the No. 2 seeded St. Bernard’s girls, the performance was anything but.
“Our team played so well,” Rouse said. “It was such a good finish to the season, even with the loss. As a coach, you want your players to do everything they can, and they did that.”
In particular, the senior class went out with a bang.
Tiersa Grummert did a good job man-marking Technology’s top threat, while Maya Waterman was outstanding at outside back and Maddie Costa almost flawless in goal.
“Credit to the seniors,” Rouse said. “They really stepped up today for the team.”
Junior Marayah Tomlinson was also among the team’s top performers, switching back and forth with Sisemore, creating some quality chances up front and holding the Technology attack in check when moving to the back.
“She had an excellent game,” Rouse said. “She started up front and created chances, and when she dropped back, she shut them down.”