Behind Patty Rubio’s hat trick, the Pioneer Valley Panthers girls soccer team won a CIF Southern Section playoff game for the first time in school history on Tuesday afternoon.
In fact, it was the Panthers' first-ever visit to the postseason.
The Panthers (14-7-2) downed the Ventura High Cougars (15-7-4) 3-2 in overtime in the wild card round of the Division 4 playoffs on the Ventura High pitch.
“We were down 2-0 after 15 minutes,” said Pioneer Valley coach Gabe Velasco. “But once we got over our initial nervousness, the girls settled down, battled back and won the game in overtime.”
Rubio got the first of her three goals for the No. 4 seed out of the PAC 8 League on an unassisted shot in the 25th minute of the first half.
Rubio evened the score with a goal off a Vyaney Zorrilla assist right before halftime.
“We made some defensive adjustments at halftime and were able to shut them down the rest of the way,” said Velasco.
Both defenses dominated a scoreless second half which meant the Panthers faced sudden-death overtime on the Cougar’s home field.
Zorrilla sent another perfect pass Rubio’s way that led to Rubio scoring the game-winner five minutes into the overtime period, ending the season for the second place team from the Channel League.
“They had a lot of speed and size on us but our girls were able to pull out the win,” said Velasco. “Ventura was really a tough team.”
Sara Rodriguez kept the Panthers in the game with seven saves in goal.
The Panthers go back on the road for Thursday’s first round game but it will a shorter trip down to Los Padres League champion Santa Ynez (14-6-2).
“They are another tough team,” said Velasco. “But we’re a tough team, too.”
In another Division 4 wild card matchup, Cabrillo lost 6-1 to Marymount in a game played on the UCLA campus.
Hancock 11, Sequoias 1
Led by three hits apiece from freshmen Brendan Gomez and Quinntin Perez, the Hancock College baseball team collected a season-high 17 hits in a over College of the Sequoias Tuesday afternoon.
Freshman starting pitcher Will Dowell earned the win to improve to 2-1.
The Righetti High graduate scattered three hits over seven-shutout innings. The right-hander walked four and struck out two.
Wyatt Standley allowed one run and struck out two in one inning of relief.
Matt Hamon fanned two in a scoreless ninth for Hancock.
The Bulldogs struck first in the bottom of the third inning when Gomez hit a run-scoring single to drive in Nash Ackerman, who had walked, with the game’s first run.
With the bases loaded, Walker Armstrong hit a sacrifice fly to right field allowing second baseman Daniel Curiel to score from third to make it 2-0 Bulldogs. Perez later scored on a bad throw by the Sequoias catcher when Gomez tried to steal second base.
Hancock carried its 3-0 lead into the sixth when Gomez, Armstrong and pinch hitter Ryan Peinado hit three straight singles.
With one out, Wyatt Coll drew a walk to force in Gomez. Ackerman followed with a single and one RBI to advance each runner.
Sequoias went to its bullpen, but third baseman Josh Harmonay greeted the new pitcher with a two-run single to make it 6-0 Hancock. Curiel later hit a sacrifice fly to right and Perez followed with a RBI-double to cap a six-run inning and pad Hancock’s lead to 9-0.
Sequoias scored once in the eighth, but the Bulldogs answered with two more in the eighth when Chad Jones singled home Harmonay and Gomez drove in Curiel with his third hit on the day.
Gomez went 3-for-5 with 2 RBI and Perez went 3-for-4. Harmonay, Curiel and Armstrong each had two hits. Harmonay drove in two runs from the leadoff spot.
The Bulldogs snapped a five-game losing skid to improve to 3-5. The Giants dropped to 6-3.
The Bulldogs will look to continue their winning ways on Wednesday when College of the Canyons visits Hancock for a 2 p.m. game. Canyons has won four in a row, including a 13-5 win over Hancock on February 3.