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Friday, Feb 22 2013 11:26 PM

Buchanan girls outlast Stockdale again for title

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    By CRAIG KOHLRUSS/THE FRESNO BEE

    Stockdale goal keeper Tori Farris is unable to get to the final penaty kick from Buchanan's Megan Lynes, ending the game, 6-5, Buchanan at Buchanan Friday, February 22, 2013.

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  2. 2 of 8

    By CRAIG KOHLRUSS/THE FRESNO BEE

    Stockdale players react after Tori Blackmon, left, missed a penalty kick against Buchanan at Buchanan Friday, February 22, 2013. Buchanan ended up winning, 6-5, and taking the DI Championship.

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  3. 3 of 8

    By CRAIG KOHLRUSS/THE FRESNO BEE

    Stockdale's Marriah Perez, left, and Buchanan's Maddy Monreal battle over the ball in their Valley Championship game at Buchanan Friday, February 22, 2013.

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  4. 4 of 8

    By CRAIG KOHLRUSS/THE FRESNO BEE

    Stockdale's Alexis Perez, center, pulls her jersey over her face after getting a red card penalty and ejected from the game against Buchanan in their Valley Championship game at Buchanan Friday, February 22, 2013.

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  5. 5 of 8

    By CRAIG KOHLRUSS/THE FRESNO BEE

    Stockdale's Victoria Womble, left battles for the ball with Buchanan's Maddy Monreal, facing right, in their Valley Championship game at Buchanan Friday, February 22, 2013.

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  6. 6 of 8

    By CRAIG KOHLRUSS/THE FRESNO BEE

    Stockdale's Tala Haddad, left, and Buchanan's Alyssa Damien battle for the ball in their Valley Championship game at Buchanan Friday, February 22, 2013.

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  7. 7 of 8

    By CRAIG KOHLRUSS/THE FRESNO BEE

    Stockdale's Victoria Womble, left, and Buchanan's Haylee Lopes battle for the ball in their Valley Championship game at Buchanan Friday, February 22, 2013.

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  8. 8 of 8

    By CRAIG KOHLRUSS/THE FRESNO BEE

    Stockdale's Alexis Perez, right, tries to kick the ball past Buchanan's Hannah Colye in their Valley Championship game at Buchanan Friday, February 22, 2013.

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BY ANDREW RICH Special to The Californian

CLOVIS -- The Stockdale High girls soccer team came oh-so-close to finally pulling off what now has to seem like the impossible.

For the sixth time in eight seasons, the Mustangs finished as the Central Section Division I runner-up to Clovis-Buchanan, this time falling 6-5 in a penalty shootout that went eight rounds.

"Overall we played better as a team," Stockdale coach Janien McGowan said. "We played our hearts out and these kids have a lot of guts. I think people took us lightly."

The Mustangs' performance was made all the more impressive by the fact that they played the final 12:27 of regulation plus 30 minutes of overtime a man down and were able to force the game to penalty kicks. Senior Alexis Perez was assessed a red card for pulling down the Bears' Alexis Weigant on a breakaway attempt.

"To play a man down for (42) minutes is amazing, it is just amazing," McGowan said.

Stockdale had its chances down the stretch to possibly win the game.

First came a two-on-one breakaway opportunity with 17:30 left in regulation. Katelyn Thatcher broke free down the middle and passed to the left to a slashing Tala Haddad, who drilled a shot into the bottom right corner of the goal. However, the side-judge threw up his flag calling Haddad for being offside on her run.

"I didn't think I was offsides, but the ref called it and we had to move on with the game," Haddad said.

The Mustangs' second chance came in the second 10-minute period of the first overtime. With no one paying attention, Haddad took a quick, short corner kick pass from Bianca Hoban and dribbled uncontested into the box and had a shot hit the bottom of the right post and bounce away.

With the penalty kicks tied 5-5, Buchanan's Megan Lynes stepped up and hit a ball high that went just over the fingertips of Stockdale goalie Tori Farris and just under the cross bar to put the Bears ahead 6-5. Then Rebecca Shelton's shot was blocked by Buchanan's Summer Hammond to continue the Bears' dominance in this rivalry.

"We knew that regardless of what our records were and what our previous scores were coming in that the weight of the rivalry already was going to make it a very tough game," Buchanan coach Orlando Ramirez said. "Hats off to them, they played a great game."

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