Feb 8, 2013 1:55 AM by Andrew Masuda
The Santa Ynez girls soccer team knew what was at stake in its league finale on Thursday and the Pirates played with a purpose. Behind one goal apiece from three sophomores, Santa Ynez blanked host Nipomo 3-0 to capture the outright Los Padres League title and avoid a three-way tie for first.
Tayler Beaird scored in the first half to give Santa Ynez a 1-0 lead at the break. Rylie Smith headed in a throw-in past the Nipomo goalie early in the second half to give the Lady Pirates a 2-0 advantage. Sarah Gill scored late in the match to seal the victory.
"We had to battle for 80 minutes and our girls did it. It was one of the most exciting games obviously we've had all season with the league championship on the line," said head coach Rob Cantrell.
"It feels great. I can't tell you how happy we are. We've worked so hard this season and we really wanted it so this game just proved it," added captain Kat Rocha, who led the team with 15 goals and 12 assists going into the title game.
The Pirates finished league play 11-1, while Nipomo dropped to 8-3. Cabrillo, the defending LPL champion, finished in second at 9-2 after winning its league finale 4-1 at Morro Bay.
If Nipomo had beaten Santa Ynez, it would have forced a three-way tie for first between Nipomo, Cabrillo and Santa Ynez.
The victory delivered the Pirates' first league title since they shared the crown with Cabrillo in two years ago. Santa Ynez has won at least a share of the league title in six of the last seven years.
The CIF playoff brackets will be released on Monday. Santa Ynez is guaranteed a first round home game.
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