Oliver Germond has sent his Fresno City College women’s soccer team to the state final four five times.
But not until Sunday had one of those teams played for the state championship since he became coach in 2001.
The Rams made the most of it, winning their second state title with a 2-1 victory against Santa Barbara City in Sacramento.
“I’ve been her 17 years and we’ve been so close so many times,”Germond said. “These kids did everything we asked of them and more. I’m so proud of them and I just feel so relieved. It's one of the best feelings I've ever felt.”
Fresno City won its first state title in 1988 under Bill Neal.
The Rams (25-0-2) scored their on Sophia Zertuche’s goal in the 58th minute. Fresno City added another goal in the 77th minute by Taylor Alkire.
It wasn’t easy for the Rams. Santa Barbara, which rallied from a 1-0 deficit on Friday for a 2-1 victory over Folsom Lake, cut into the Rams’ lead with a goal from Riley Moore in the 82nd minute.
Rams goalkeeper Riana Castaneda made four saves, including a penalty kick save. She was named most valuable player.
“We’ve worked so hard to get to this point from July 6 to now,” Castaneda said. “We have never stopped putting in the work it takes to become a state champion. Going undefeated all season and getting to be able to hold the championship trophy felt unreal and I’m so incredibly proud of my team for the accomplishments we have made and final getting our coach the state championship he’s always deserved.”