The Delta Mustangs made history on a rainy Tuesday afternoon in Stockton as the women’s soccer team advanced to the state championship tournament for the first time in program history, with a penalty kick shootout win over Hartnell College.
Reaching the third round of the California Community College Athletic Association Regional Championship for the third season in a row, the Mustangs’ defense came up big with their second straight shutout before goalkeeper Amanda Leal made three saves in the shootout. The Mustangs prevailed 3-1 in the shootout after 120 scoreless minutes.
“This is extremely exciting,” said Leal after the game. “The last couple weeks have kind of been a reflection of our season. We always knew we could get it done if we stuck together.”
“Amanda is extremely athletic, but I think penalties today really came down to focus and she was able to make reads on the plays and then make saves,” said head coach Adrienne Sorenson about her sophomore goalkeeper. “I’m just really proud of her and she has grown so much over the last year and a half.”
Jaylin Meza, Jay Her and Kylie Zentner all scored on their penalty kicks to set the stage for the win, with Leal’s third save setting off a massive celebration.
“This was our goal at the beginning of the year, so to be able to have a shot at a state championship is a pretty amazing thing,” said Sorenson.
Due to the Delta campus being closed because of air quality concerns from Nov. 15 to Nov. 26, the team was unable to open the playoffs with a home game and instead had to go to Salinas, where they opened the playoffs with a 2-1 win over Canada. They then won at Folsom Lake by a 1-0 final score to advance to the Elite 8 for the third year in a row.
“I think we kind of could have gone one of two ways when we lost our home game with the fires,” said Sorenson. “I just told them we are tough. … I’m really proud of them.”
With a trip to the state finals on the line, the Mustangs will now take on undefeated Santiago Canyon College on Friday night at Ventura College.