Christian Brothers is a pretty good No. 4 seed.
The Falcons came into Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium on Tuesday against top-seeded Sierra and never trailed, handing the host Timberwolves a 2-1 loss in the semifinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III girls soccer playoffs.
“MaxPreps had us at No. 4,” Christian Brothers coach Rudy Ruvalcaba said. “But we just stuck to our game plan.
“We told the kids to play short and simple and play in the now. Because if the referee makes a bad call and you complain about it, you are in the past. And if you think about next time, you are in the future. And if you are in those two places, you are not in the present which is where you need to be to play the game. We will be successful with a group of nows put together.”
Scoreless for the first 53 minutes, the Falcons (13-6-3) broke onto the board when Lexi Rakela headed in a long pass from Ainsley Carroll for a 1-0 lead.
Two minutes later Sierra (24-2) responded. Juliana Camenzind-Rodriguez inbounded the ball to Tianna Cello who got the ball right back to Camenzind-Rodriguez. Melanie Nguyen then took a pass from Camenzind-Rodriguez and powered the ball into the net to tie the game at 1-1.
Jordan Pieretti put Christian Brothers ahead for good at 2-1 with nine minutes left in the game.
The Timberwolves had four shots in the first half but just three in the second half. The Falcons totaled 15 shots.
“This is not the way we wanted to end it but that’s the way it goes,” Sierra coach Manuel Pires said. “Only one team was going to win it and we didn’t capitalize on the opportunities when we had them.
“We allowed that goal and came back and got that tie. I thought we were going to step up in that second half but we didn’t.”
Ruvalcaba had nothing but respect for the Timberwolves program.
“It’s hard coming here to play Sierra,” Ruvalcaba said. “We came here two or three years ago and we lost. I told the girls that the road to the Section championship always goes through Sierra. This is a tough team and a great program.
“Coach Manny (Pires) is a great guy and they have some good players. And coming to Sierra you had better bring your lunch because it’s going to be a long day.”