By Noah Glosson, Sports Editor
// The women’s soccer team watched their historic season come to an end in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Northern California semifinals against Burlingame 1-0 on Thursday, Mar. 5.
The fifth seed Lady Dons entered this game having taken down fourth seeded Manteca Bison 2-0 on Tuesday. Burlingame came into this contest after shocking the top-seeded Mountain View Spartans 1-0.
Acalanes started out strong on the attack but the Panthers stalled. Freshman Tatum Zuber fired a pass to fellow freshman Addie Bailey that was blocked. The Lady Dons also attempted multiple shots from 30-plus yards out but to no avail.
For the first 30 minutes the Lady Dons defense held their ground with terrific stops from juniors Olivia Parnell, Sami Hansen, and Aliye Wingate. Senior goal keeper Kate Carter remained stout defending the net.
In the 30th minute, however, Burlingame drew first blood as the team’s striker broke free and fired a crosser into the net.
Both teams made little progress as the half ended with the Panthers up 1-0 on the Lady Dons.
After a ten minute chat in the locker room, Acalanes came back out with hopes of making a comeback in this game.
Unfortunately, the Dons struggled to find their groove as Burlingame continued playing exceptional defense throughout the game, as did the Lady Dons.
As the clock winded down, Acalanes began gaining momentum offensively with a late series of shots on goal.
With just seconds remaining, Carter ran out to play offense in a desperate attempt. After failing to convert a goal off a corner kick, the referees blew the whistle and Burlingame won, crushing the team’s Norcal title hopes.
“We didn’t start out strong and that hurt us in the end, but we fought hard and had a lot of opportunities,” Carter said.
Zuber and Bailey led the offensive attack and despite the loss, Wingate earned Blueprint Player of the Game honors for her exceptional defensive efforts.
“We gave it everything we have. I think sometimes it doesn’t go our way and everything happens for a reason and we didn’t win for that,”Wingate said.
The team graduates fifteen talented seniors, including Chapman women’s soccer commits in Ivy Souza and Carter.
Although disappointed, the team looks back satisfied, knowing they won the North Coast Section (NCS) championship for the first time in program history.
“When I look back on this I will remember about the connections I made. Without the seniors, there would not be this chemistry that we have and we are more of a family than a team,” Wingate said.
Despite her career being over, this team will always have a place in Carter’s heart.
“The first two years were not the best for me but my last two years were the best moments I had throughout my high school career,” Carter said. “We have been the best team Acalanes has ever had so it’s unforgettable.”