By Luke Reid - Sports Information Director (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Courtlynn Cerrito surprised everyone in the stadium with a quick throw-in (thought by Cal State L.A. to be theirs), connecting with Stephanie Vaquerano unmarked at the top of the box. And what Vaquerano's shot may have lacked in accuracy she made up for in sheer power. Vaquerano smashed a shot from 15 yards the Golden Eagles' goalkeeper got a right hand on. But the ball blasted right on through and into the back of the net for the golden goal as the Chico State women's soccer team beat Cal State L.A. in the ninth minutes overtime.
What a group!
The win was especially sweet since it came on Senior Day. The team's four celebrated seniors - Carly Singer, Scotie Walker, Gail Bassett and Danielle Leiva – were honored prior to the match.
Chico State's third straight shutout win evened its record at 7-7-2 overall. The Wildcats are now 5-7-2 in the CCAA and still in the hunt for a postseason berth. Cal State L.A. fell to 8-5-3 overall and 6-5-3 in the CCAA.
Chico State will need to finish the regular season with two more wins and get some help from some other teams.
Perhaps more important is the way their finishing the season, having outscored their last three opponents by a combined 6-0.
The Wildcats scuffled to find an offensive rhythm through the match, but actually had most of the dangerous chances. Ella Fries just missed the target on a couple of nice tries from distance.
Brianna Furner fashioned the day's second-biggest moment with an amazing tip save off the crossbar on Amilia Arvidsson's header late in the second half that seemed destined to give the Golden Eagles the lead.
Furner finished with four saves in registering her third consecutive clean sheet and the 18th of her career.
The day started with a sweet ceremony for the seniors. Their families were present. Laughter rang out. And even a few tears were shed.
In the end, the laughter returned as the Wildcats celebrated their victory.
What a day!