Mt. San Antonio College will again have a chance to defend its state championship, but getting there took longer than expected.
The Mounties (20-0-3), winners of the past two state community college men's soccer champions, needed 5½ hours Saturday to pull out a 2-0 triumph over visiting Oxnard (15-2-6) in a Southern California Regional final and claim a spot in their fifth straight California final four.
The game, which began at 2 p.m., was delayed for nearly four hours after a nearby gas leak forced an evacuation on the Mt. SAC campus in Walnut.
Javier Castro (Pomona/International Poly HS) scored early for Mt. SAC, the nation's No. 1-ranked non-scholarship JC team, and Luis Fuentes (Baldwin Park/Sierra Vista HS) netted his 19th of the season after the break.
The game was halted in the 38th minute, with Mt. SAC ahead, 1-0, when a Mt. SAC equipment manager accidentally drove a campus cart into an “old gas tank” adjacent to the soccer field, Mounties coach Juan Sanchez said. The area was cleared, the gas company summoned, the torn line repaired, and play started anew at about 6:15. The game ended a little before 7:30.
“It was one of those weird games,” Sanchez said. “They were all over us just before it happened -- they had just hit the post and were attacking us. ... We wanted to finish it [Saturday], because if we had to play later, we'd have to start over, and we would have lost our advantage.”
Mt. SAC will face City College of San Francisco (19-4-2), a 3-0 winner at Los Altos Hills-based Foothill, in a state semifinal Friday afternoon at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento.
In other men's action:
Duran Stanley and Rodrigo Perez scored overtime goals to lift Santa Barbara City College (18-1-4) to a 2-0 victory over visiting Golden West (13-6-4), from Huntington Beach. The Vaqueros will face Hartnell (18-2-3), from Salinas, in Friday's semifinals.
WOMEN: Cypress topples San Bernardino Valley on PKs
CYPRESS -- Michelle Mendez came off the bench at the end of overtime and made two saves in the penalty-kick shootout to lead Cypress College back to the state final four after a four-year absence.
The Chargers (14-4-5) converted a penalty in second-half stoppage to force the extra period, then staved off San Bernardino Valley's would-be winner in the tiebreaker to topple the defending state champion and claim a berth next weekend in Sacramento.
The 3-2 shootout victory following a 1-1 tie sends 11th-seeded Cypress, which won three state titles during a stretch of 12 successive final four trips, to a semifinal Friday against Santa Rosa (18-1-3), Northern California's top side.
San Bernardino Valley (12-5-5), the No. 15 seed, was moments from advancing when Breanne Dominguez (San Jacinto/San Jacinto HS) tripped Cypress midfielder Stephanie Villasenor (Compton/Bellflower HS) on a run across the top of the box. Villasenor converted the penalty to draw the Chargers even.
Mendez (Rico Rivera/Santa Fe HS), Cypress' spot-kick expert, replaced No. 1 goalkeeper Kayla Neujahr (Buena Park/Sunny Hills HS) near the end of 30 minutes of overtime, and she faced a must-save situation on the fifth round of kicks after her teammates converted just one of their first four shots.
Ivana Ramirez (Corona/Corona HS), with a chance to push the Wolverines through, fired weakly toward the left, a simple stop. Natalie Farah-Enriquez (Cerritos/St. Joseph HS and Cal State Dominguez Hills) made it 2-2, and after Mendez made a far more impressive stop on Haily Moore (San Bernardino/Cajon HS), Cassidy Molen (Bellflower/Mayfair HS) scored the decisive kick.
Coral Castillo (San Bernardino/San Gorgonio HS) headed home Ramirez's corner kick to give San Bernardino Valley a 40th-minute lead, and speedy Milan Galloway (Rialto/Carter HS) should have made it 2-0 when in the 88th, when a cleared corner kick sent her into Cypress territory with only Neujahr, well out of her box, to beat. Instead of chipping from distance, Galloway dribbled past Neujahr, into the box, then fired into the goal frame, wide of the target, from a tough angle.
The Chargers were without their coach, Randi Martinez, who was ejected in the 100th minute following his second yellow card.
In other women's action:
Valerie Barrios (Chino Hills/Chino Hills HS) and Dena Wasielewski (Huntington Beach/Edison HS) scored three minutes apart late in the first half to lead Orange's Santiago Canyon, ranked third in the nation, to a 2-1 victory over Orange Empire Conference rival Orange Coast. Emma Pridmore (Cypress/Cypress HS) tallied just before halftime for Costa Mesa-based OCC (14-5-4). The Hawks (21-1-1) will face City College of San Francisco (20-1-2), a 2-1 winner over Fresno City, in Friday's semifinals.
Mt. San Antonio (Walnut) 2, Oxnard 0
Santa Barbara City 2, Golden West (Huntington Beach) 0, OT
Hartnell (Salinas) 4, American River (Sacramento) 1
Foothill 0, CC San Francisco 3
Santiago Canyon (Orange) 2, Orange Coast (Costa Mesa) 1
Cypress 1, San Bernardino Valley 1, OT (Cypress advances on penalties, 3-2)
Santa Rosa 4, Modesto 2
CC San Francisco 2, Fresno City 1
Home teams listed first
Dec. 2-4 at Cosumnes River College (Sacramento)
Hartnell (18-2-3) vs. Santa Barbara City (18-1-4)
Mt. San Antonio (19-0-3) vs. CC San Francisco (19-4-2)
Santa Rosa JC (18-1-3) vs. Cypress (14-4-5)
Santiago Canyon (21-1-1) vs. CC San Francisco (20-1-2)