Clovis News: Sports

Bullard girls soccer falls short vs. Bakersfield

For the first 40 minutes of Friday's Central Section Division I girls soccer quarterfinal, Bullard High controlled the action and took a vast majority of the shots.

But 2 minutes into the second half, the Knights found themselves in a hole they couldn't dig out of.

Sixth-seeded Bakersfield made a goal from freshman Sierra Sagasta stand up through the final 38 minutes during a 1-0 upset of No. 3 Bullard on Friday. The Drillers (16-5-3) advance to a Tuesday semifinal against No. 2 Stockdale, which topped No. 7 Clovis 4-1.

"That's the danger of letting teams hang around," said Bullard coach Onesta Francis, whose team had seven shots smothered by Bakersfield's goalkeeper and another three shots that were off the mark in the first half. "Then, all it takes is one goal."

The County/Metro Athletic Conference champion Knights (19-5-2) played without forwards Lynn Williams, the team's leading scorer, and Morgan Darling. Williams suffered a high ankle sprain last week in Bullard's regular-season finale against Sanger and Darling is away at a national camp.

Bullard had its only shot that found the back of the net -- Jenna Thomason's boot into the high left corner 5 minutes into the second half -- negated by a penalty.

The Knights had a final scoring chance in the closing seconds, but Brittany Gibson's shot off a corner kick went over the post.

"The first 20 minutes I thought we bullied them physically," Francis said. "Then they started to fight back, and when they did, they started to get more calls.

"It's really heartbreaking for the seniors we have that have worked so hard like Alejandra Diaz, Brittany Gibson and Branisa Sproule. We wanted to send them off on the right note."