Women’s soccer: Coyotes pull off one for the ages

     

TURLOCK, Calif. — When Melanie Aguayo stepped onto the Cal State San Bernardino campus in the Fall of 2012, coach Travis Clarke was the first to say that she had owned a scorer’s mentality.

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The Cal State San Bernardino women’s soccer team celebrates after Melanie Aguayo scored the winning goal as the unranked Coyotes upset top seed and No. 5-ranked Cal State Stanislaus 1-0 in overtime in the NCAA West Regional semifinals on Nov. 16. Photo courtesy of Cal State Stanislaus.

Scoring opportunities have been difficult for the Chino Hills native in her two seasons, but Saturday afternoon she came through with the biggest goal in the history of Coyotes soccer.

Aguayo found herself on the receiving end of a pass from freshman Paige Kang in the game’s 97th minute and delivered it for the only goal as the unranked Coyotes upset top seed and No. 5-ranked Cal State Stanislaus 1-0 in overtime in the NCAA West Regional semifinals.

“We defended very well all game and got the opportunity at the end,” Aguayo said. “Chelsey made the save, got the ball out, we got control and Paige set it up.”

The victory places the fourth-seeded Coyotes (12-6-4) into Friday’s NCAA regional finals at second-seed Western Washington, which defeated sixth-seed Seattle Pacific 2-0 on Saturday.

The game will be played in Bellingham at a to-be-determined time.

“This is such a great moment for our team,” Clarke said. “We were prepared and everyone gave a super effort for each other. This was a big, big win because I honestly feel Cal State Stanislaus is the top team in the nation.

“It was a hard fought game that came down to who was going to make the first mistake. It wasn’t us and were ready to capitalize on theirs.”

The magnitude of the victory cannot be overstated as the Warriors entered play with an 18-0-2 record and fresh off winning the CCAA regular season and postseason titles. Meanwhile, CSUSB was playing in just its third NCAA game in school history.

But the Coyotes went toe-to-toe with the Warriors and hunkered down in a game that was scoreless through regulation.

CSUSB had just three shots with only one SOG — from Jasmine Williams in the 30th minute from the circle that was saved by Warriors GK Chelsea Lewandowski.

In overtime, All-American Karenee Demery fired a SOG that Coyotes GK Chelsey Jones.at 97:17.

Not even 30 seconds later, Kang fired a long pass from midfield that bounced past the Warriors defenders. Aguayo controlled the ball and tapped through the GK’s hands for the game-winner.

The goal was Aguayo’s first on the season and only her second in her career.

Jones had two saves and improved her single-season school shutout record to 13.

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