Santiago Canyon proved to be a thorn in the SBCC Vaqueros’ side for the second straight year as the Hawks scored twice in a 15-minute span of the second half on Saturday to end Santa Barbara’s season 2-0 in the Southern Cal Regional final.
The Vaqueros also lost at Santiago Canyon 1-0 in OT in the 2018 Regional final. SBCC was playing in its fourth straight Regional final and they’ve gone 2-2 in those games.
It was the first loss for the Vaqueros in 7½ weeks as they were unbeaten in their last 12 games (9-0-3) coming into Saturday’s contest.
Chloe Helenini gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead with a goal in the 65th minute. Alex Vanous made it 2-0 in the 80th minute.
SBCC, which won its third straight WSC North title, was the No. 7 seed in the 19-team Regional playoffs. The Vaqueros finish at 13-7-4 while the third-seeded Hawks improve to 16-3-3 and move on to the State Final Four on Dec. 6-8 at De Anza College.
“We seemed to be a little flat today and couldn’t get into our rhythm on the grass surface,” said Vaquero coach John Sisterson. “But we still competed and it was all even at halftime. In the second half, we made two defensive errors that cost us two goals.
“Mekaylla White turned and struck a great shot from 25 yards that skimmed off the top of the bar and then Savannah [Mohatt] broke into the box, beating three players, to get her shot off, only to have the GK save it.
“Lizzie [Elizabeth Estrada] was very good in goal again. We can hold our heads high for a great season as we won the conference and got into the So Cal Final for the fourth straight year.”