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FLC Falcons women's soccer season comes to an end with 1-0 loss to Delta

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Donny Ribaudo knew playing San-Joaquin Delta College would be a tough game before it even happened.

Playing a conference rival is tough enough; playing them in the playoffs when the losing team’s season is over is even tougher. Both Folsom Lake College and Delta’s women’s soccer teams gave it all they had Saturday afternoon in the second round of the CCCAA Nor-Cal playoffs, but it was the Delta Mustangs who came away with a 1-0 victory.

The teams had split their two conference meetings, each winning by a goal on their home field. The third meeting between teams that placed second (Folsom Lake) and third (Delta) in the Big 8 Conference  was a hard-fought, physical, and workmanlike performance by both teams with very little space given to any player. While both teams had some looks at the goal, no dramatic saves were needed by either keeper, as the defenses were strong on both sides.

“This game was similar to the first game (a 1-0 win for the Falcons on Sept. 14), really tight and not a lot of quality scoring opportunities,” Ribaudo said. “It was a physical game with a lot of high energy and both teams battled hard. We had a couple of moments, but we could not find a good opportunity to score.”

The Falcons’ best opportunity to score came late in the first half when they controlled ball in front of the goal. Corrine Christmann made a nice crossing pass to Emma Thompson, whose shot was just wide of the goal.

The game’s only goal came nine minutes into the second half. Alayna Ferguson was called for taking down a Mustang player in the box, and a penalty kick was awarded and converted by the Mustangs.

“The PK was unfortunate,” Ribaudo said. “We thought it looked like incidental contact, but that’s soccer.”

 The Falcons tried to rally late and created opportunities to score, but never got off a great shot on goal. Thompson, Riley Spitzer, Alhan Bakideh and Michaela Mayer led the offensive charge. The Falcons had three late corner kicks, but the closest scoring chance was a high shot over the goal by Sarah Postema.

The young Falcons team with only two sophomores ended the season with a 17-5-1 record

“It was a great year,” Ribaudo said. “With only two sophomores and only one who played with us last year, we got great results. We had big wins over Delta and Santa Rosa, and finished second in the conference.  I hope this group learns something from this season, and takes it to the next level next year.”

For the team’s two sophomores and leading scorers, Spitzer and Bakideh, their soccer careers at Folsom Lake College are over.

“Riley had an amazing career,” Ribaudo said. “She led us to the final four last year. She’s dominant in her position. She can receive the ball and create moments. She can set up goals and can score them. Her future is bright. She’s a great player and person.

“Alhan transferred here from Sac City and has developed a ton. She’s learned to play in a system of play. She’s a good teammate and was an impact player for us.”