Soccer team will be in San Francisco Saturday for next round of Norcal playoffs

ROCKLIN – Taft College continues to be the surprise of this year’s women’s soccer playoffs.

The Cougars are the No. 10 seed in the northern California playoffs and so far have dispatched No. 7 Mendocino (last Saturday) and No. 2 Sierra (Tuesday).

Now they are taking another trip to northern California Saturday to take aim at No. 3 City College of San Francisco.

The prize for the winner is a berth in the final four Dec. 6-8 at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento.

“We are very excited,” said head coach Myisha Cutrona.

The Cougars essentially put the No. 2 seeded Sierra Wolverines away early in the first half.

Joanna Espinoza, who has been the team’s brightest star all season, scored both Cougar goals.

The first was in the ninth minute on a pass from Selina Chacon.

The sophomore from Highland High in Bakersfield hooked up with Cristina Salazar four minutes later to make it 2-0.

Nine minutes later Carissa Schlesinger scored the Wolverines only goal off a corner kick.

There was no scoring after that although it wasn’t from a lack of trying by the Wolverines, who took 23 shots in the game, keeping Cougar goalkeeper Marissa Alcala busy. The freshman from Frontier High was credited with nine saves – six of them in the first half.

“We dominated in the first half,” Cutrona said. “In the second half we played secure defense.”

Espinoza now has 28 goals on the season.

San Francisco (18-2-2) made it to the semifinals by defeating No. 14 Diablo Valley 4-1 and No. 6 Folsom Lake 2-0. It was Folsom Lake’s first loss.

The Cougars are 15-4-2.