La Salle Claims CIF Championship Despite Strange Referee Mishap
By Aaron Valdez
The CIF-SS Division 4 title game between La Salle and St. Margaret’s girls’ soccer on Saturday certainly delivered a lot of excitement and a lot of drama. However, no one could have predicted the events that unfolded in this winner-take-all match-up.
Following a back-and-forth affair, the winner was to be decided by penalty shootout where the Lancers shot second but were leading 3-2 after three turns. St. Margaret’s went on to miss its fourth penalty, sparking a massive celebration by La Salle as even the officials had ruled the game over after a quick discussion.
Nearly every spectator was under the impression that La Salle had won the game as CIF-SS officials routinely carried out the award ceremony to hand out t-shirts and plaques to the winners and runners-up.
But no so fast!
In the most unusual turn of events, the referees returned to the field to declare that the Lancers still had to covert one more penalty kick to claim the CIF title.
While it did take quite some time for the officiating staff to explain the situation to both teams and school representatives, the roller coaster ride of emotions did not faze Tatum Mediano, who slotted in La Salle’s decisive penalty kick to secure the victory once and for all.
During regulation, the Lancers trailed after Jasper Adams found a rebounded shot attempt and knocked it back in to put St. Margaret’s on top 2-1 in the second half. However, the Lancers answered right back to level the score 2-2 as Sara Ybarra nailed a penalty kick after being taken out in the box.
Lancers goalkeeper Celine Akroush also played a big role in La Salle’s monumental win as she made the save to give her team the advantage in the penalty kick shootout.
With a CIF-SS Division 4 title under its belt, La Salle will move on to the CIF State Championships as its first game comes against fellow Pasadena school Westridge on Thursday.