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Estrada scores and saves Vaqueros in PK shootout, 4-3

Vaqueros celebrate their PK shootout victory over Ventura. (Photo by Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)
Vaqueros celebrate their PK shootout victory over Ventura. (Photo by Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)

Sophomore goalie Elizabeth Estrada came up huge in the Southern Cal Regional on Saturday night, scoring the winning goal in the fourth round of the PK shootout and then stopping Karen Martinez to send SBCC past Ventura and into the regional semifinals.

"I took a wild guess and dove the right way and I got it," said Estrada, a former Carpinteria High star who lunged to her right to make the decisive save on VC's fifth penalty kick. "I'm really excited right now, especially because we'll be at home on Tuesday."

The Vaqueros will host Saddleback on Tuesday at 7 p.m. The 15th-seeded Gauchos upset No. 2 Rio Hondo 2-1 on Saturday.

The Vaqueros, seeded No. 7, and the No. 10 Pirates were tied 1-1 after regulation and played a scoreless 30 minutes of overtime with both teams having multiple scoring chances.

Molly Branigan, Courtney Cook, Mekaylla White and Estrada all converted their PKs to give SBCC a 4-3 shootout victory.

"I was nervous at first in the PKs," said Estrada, who played midfielder for the Vaqueros in 2017 when they reached the state final with the best record in school history (21-1-1). "But we practiced PKs all week and all my coaches helped me out, especially Bri [Brianna Robinson] on Thursday."

SBCC and Ventura will both get a tie for their efforts. They have identical records of 12-6-4.  It was the third meeting ohe year between the longtime WSC North rivals and the Vaqueros won the first two battles by the same 2-1 score.

After a scoreless first half, SBCC's top scorer, Mekaylla White, scored in the fourth minute of the second half after Savannah Mohatt's shot caromed off a defender right to White.

Ventura tied it 1-1 at 66:21 when defender Anna Escobar lofted a 25-yard rainbow over Estrada's head.

Jacky Espinosa hit the right post with a 34-yard shot in the 90th minute for Ventura. She nailed the crossbar in the second OT (115 th minute) and Escobar scored a goal at 115:20 but it was waved off by offsides.

The Vaqueros had several scoring chances in the first 10 minutes but Jessica Salas hit the left post, White's 1-on-1 was blocked by the GK Aracely Castro and Branigan blasted a free kick from the top left corner of the box off the bar at 9:20.

"It was exciting for the spectators but this is going to turn me gray," said Vaquero coach John Sisterson, who coached two overtime playoff games that were decided by a PK shootout in the same day. The Vaquero men tied Santa Ana 2-2, then lost on PKs, 3-1. "We played very well tonight. We hit the bar and posts a bunch of times.

"I always felt we had enough firepower to win. I thought we were a little unfortunate not to win in regular time. It's always a little nervy when you go to PKs because anything can happen. Elizabeth got the winning goal and saved the last one, so she was certainly the Woman of the Match."

Mekaylla White gave SBCC a 1-0 lead early in the second half and converted this penalty kick
in Round 3 of the shootout. (Photo by Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)