Redemption tour complete.
After falling in the CIF Southern Section title match a season ago, the San Luis Obispo girls soccer team knocked off Clovis North, 2-1, to capture the CIF Central Section Division 1 championship on Saturday afternoon at Clovis North High School.
The Tigers and the Broncos went scoreless through the first half, but it was SLO that put on continuous pressure the entirety of the opening half.
SLO struck first blood near the halfway point of the second half as Olivia Ortiz smacked a Franki Phelan throw-in into the back of the net making it 1-0.
Not too long after, SLO connected on its second goal of the game.
Molly Massman received a pass at the top of the box and blasted a shot into the top left corner of the goal to put the Tigers up 2-0.
However, the momentum quickly turned to Clovis North’s favor with 10 minutes remaining.
SLO’s Angie Crozier received her second yellow card after falling backward over a Clovis North player in the box before an ensuing corner kick. Crozier was given a red card and had to leave the match, while SLO was forced to finish with just 10 players.
North’s Taylour Mendoza scored the penalty kick to cut the deficit to 2-1.
The disadvantage didn’t phase the Tigers though, as they played a perfect game of keep away for the remaining time.
Once the final whistle blew, SLO was able to celebrate the program’s first-ever CIF title.
“We’ve been training all year just to get back to this moment, and it finally feels good to walk away a champion this time around,” SLO head coach Brittney Viboch said. “I don’t really have many words for it except for the fact that it’s a big sigh of relief, and to see all the girls’ hard work finally pay off, it feels really good.”
“We’ve all been motivated, we’ve all been calling it ‘ring season’, we’ve all wanted a banner with our names in the gym, and we’re all super excited about it,” SLO senior midfielder Molly Massman added. “I can’t believe it happened.”
Olivia Ortiz, one of seven SLO seniors exclaimed, “It feels awesome, We’ve been wanting that for our four years here. It’s just finally nice to finally get the championship.”
“These girls changed my life, especially the seniors,” SLO freshman goalkeeper Riley Wilkerson said. “I want to be in their shoes one day and just be able to play with some of these amazing girls. It’s unbelievable. It feels surreal to me.”
San Luis Obispo will now regroup and prepare for the CIF State playoffs which get underway on Tuesday night.