By Joe Naiman
Ramona High School’s girls soccer team tied its Feb. 14 match at Mount Carmel while losing its Feb. 16 season finale by a 1-0 margin to Torrey Pines.
The losses gave Ramona a final Palomar League record of 0-8-2, but the Bulldogs had a cumulative three-goal deficit in their final four games. Ramona, which was not selected for the CIF playoffs, ended its season with a 9-12-2 overall record.
“We had a good week on the field,” said Assistant Coach Rod Vandervort.
The game at Mount Carmel was a 2-2 tie.
“Played a really good game, a game we thought we had a chance to win,” Vandervort said. “Our offense really stepped it up and had a good game.”
Midway in the first half Ramona took a 1-0 lead after Karli Njaa took Samantha Schmidt’s pass and placed the ball into the net. The Sundevils tied the game about five minutes later, and the halftime whistle sounded with a 1-1 score.
The second half was also equally successful.
Schmidt’s shot in the 63rd minute was deflected by the goalkeeper, but Valeria Lozano recovered the rebound for the Bulldogs and shot from point blank range near the back post.
“Valeria Lozano made a good run and was able to clean it up and knock it in,” Vandervort said.
The 2-1 lead held until five minutes remained despite several Sundevil opportunities.
“They had a few chances. Our defense was hanging in there,” Vandervort said.
With five minutes left, Mount Carmel was awarded a penalty kick. The ball hit the top of the post and bounced in front of the net, but the referee ruled that it had crossed the entirety of the goal line and awarded the Sundevils a score.
“We’re still happy with the result,” Vandervort said. “They played very, very good soccer.”
The Feb. 16 game was played in Ramona and was Senior Night. All 11 of Ramona’s seniors started the game.
“The girls were very fired up. The seniors did a great job,” Vandervort said. “We got off to a very good start.”
The first half was scoreless. The senior starters included goalie Maria Solis, sweeper Lexi Hogan, and outside defenders Briana Gansch and Emily Vandervort. Schmidt was the stopper for the Bulldogs’ defense in her final high school game while Katie White was the back midfielder.
A chip shot in the 63rd minute gave the Falcons the game’s only goal.
“We kept battling the rest of the game,” Vandervort said. “Our shots just went a little bit wide.”
Solis, who had eight saves against Mt. Carmel, made 10 saves in her final high school game.
“In general we were very, very happy with the way the girls played,” Vandervort said. “Good night for the girls.”
Ramona was the only Palomar League team not to be selected for the playoffs.
“We felt that with our schedule in league that maybe we had done enough,” Vandervort said.