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Wednesday, January 16 , 2019, 7:39 am | Fair 48º

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Westmont Women Rally For 3-2 Win Over Master’s in GSAC Semifinals

Westmont rallied from a 2-0 deficit, and junior midfielder Maddi Berthoud scored in the final minute of regulation to give the Warriors a 3-2 Golden State Athletic Conference Women's Soccer Tournament semifinal win over the Mustangs of The Master's (13-6-1).

Westmont (13-1-3) advances to the championship game on Saturday to take on Hope International. The Royals advanced to the final with a 2-1 victory over top-seeded Vanguard.

The Master's started the game by controlling possession and broke through with a goal in the 19th minute. 

"It was intense," said sophomore forward Bri Johnson. "I think we got caught up when they scored the first goal. But it goes to show how we are able to battle and get it back no matter what the score."

Just over two minutes into the second half, The Master's scored again. 

"We knew this was not a reflection of who we were," offered Berthoud. "All of us needed to put everything we had so we could show our true character. I think we thrive in those situations where everything is on the line and I think our character came out."

In the 53rd minute, Katie Stella put the Warriors on the scoreboard.

"In order for us to win, we had to be scrappy," said Stella. "We couldn't wait for the perfect opportunity to take a shot because that was never going to be offered to us with their high press and their great defense."

Credit to Katie Stella today," said Westmont coach Chantel Cappuccilli. "I thought she played her best game of the season and helped us when we really needed it. Once we found that first goal, there was a big chunk of the second half were we were dominating. Then we found the second goal."

Johnson scored the equalizer in the 71st minute.

"The ball was played to their center back," explained Johnson. "It was kind of a bobble. She went to clear it and it hit me. I went forward and saw the keeper was up high, so I chipped her."

The game winner was scored with 57 seconds remaining in regulation. Stella sent a ball over the top to Berthoud.

"I had just come back on the field, noted Berthoud who re-entered the game in the 84th minute. "I saw the through ball I had been looking for all game. The keeper was coming out and I knew I had one step to finish it and knew she was going to hit me anyway. So, she did hit me, but the goal went in and I was so happy.

"Those are my favorite moments in all of my soccer career. Moments in playoffs when I can win everything for the team. I'm super thankful."

Just 20 seconds later, The Master's put the ball in the back of the net, but the apparent goal was waved off when offside was indicated by the assistant referee.

Saturday's championship game will be played at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine at 4 o'clock.

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