The Orange County Waves' inaugural season finished just as planned, with a trophy following a dramatic victory in Sunday's Women's Premier Soccer League title game in Lisle, Ill.
Former UC Irvine star Tanya Taylor (Buena Park/Sunny Hills HS) finished a feed from veteran pro Brittany Klein (Arcadia/Arcadia HS) 11 minutes into overtime, and the Waves (14-1-3) held on for a 2-1 triumph over the Chicago Red Stars at Benedictine University.
Kiki Bosio (Mission Viejo/Santa Margarita Catholic HS and Capistrano Valley HS), like Klein a veteran of Women's Professional Soccer (both are Santa Clara University alums, too), gave the Waves an advantage just before halftime, and the Waves were counting down to a 1-0 victory when Julie Ewing pulled Chicago even in the 88th minute.
The speedy Taylor beat Chicago's offside trap to latch onto Klein's through ball on the decisive play.
“Tanya is a handful for anybody,” Waves coach Abner Rogers told the WPSL's website. “She can just turn it on and just beat you. I felt the game could have gone either way. Like any big game, you're going to have to dodge some bullets, and we certainly got our breaks today.”
Kristina Larsen (Mission Viejo/Mission Viejo HS and UCLA), another WPS vet, came on as a substitute. She suffered a broken collarbone and fractured wrist last month and had been thought done for the season.
It was the fourth successive year a Los Angeles-area team reached the WPSL title game. Ajax America won its second championship in 2008, then lost in the 2009 and 2010 finals.