SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - San Marcos girls soccer was floundering before the pandemic but is flourishing now.
Sofia Orozco broke a scoreless tie in a second extra 10-minute period and the Royals remained unbeaten this season with a 1-0 win over South Pasadena in the CIF-Southern Section's Division 5 semifinal.
"Honestly I was so happy inside," Orozco said after the breakthrough goal. "It was the golden goal, what can you expect from a golden goal? You just have to finish it and put it in the goal to be honest. I was just really happy when I got that goal inside that net."
The Royals dominated possession for most of the match, but could not translate their advantage to the scoreboard until after two full scoreless halves. Orozco darted inside the box and shot the ball into the Tigers keeper's legs. The rebound came right back to Orozco who then sent in the only goal of the game to seal a San Marcos victory.
Kate Sheldon set up Orozco's winner with a perfectly-placed ball into the box.
"This team has endured a lot," San Marcos' Paige Ingram said. "Since my freshman year, we've had three different coaches, have had countless injuries. Every year there's a new obstacle to overcome. There was fires freshman year, the pandemic the last two years... Being sidelined throughout the pandemic for so long, we knew that we had to do whatever we could whenever we were on the field. Do as much as we could, and if possible, make history."
San Marcos will have an opportunity to do just that. The Royals will play in the Division 5 championship match next weekend.