Broncos’ season comes to an end in La Jolla

The women’s soccer team saw its season come to an end Thursday night in La Jolla, after the Broncos fell 1-3 versus the Point Loma Nazarene University Sea Lions. 

It was the first round of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) Division II Tournament.

The Broncos finished the season with a 13-5-3 overall record and 7-1-2 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) conference.

Thursday night’s match was the second time both teams faced each other during the season, the first one dating back to Sep. 5, when the Broncos won 2-0. 

The Broncos had a total of 13 shots, five of which were on target. The Sea Lions, on the other hand, had 11 shots, eight of which were on target.

The Broncos got off to a hot start, as the team found the back of the net only two minutes into the game. 

The goal came from sophomore midfielder/forward Allyssa Larkin after she received a pass from junior forward Taylor Scott.

“I thought we started really well. The first 30 minutes or so, we probably created three or four goal-scoring opportunities,” head coach Jay Mason said. “Obviously, we were able to finish an early one, but we missed the next three or four that could’ve buried the game. And then I think the rest of the game, we kind of ran out of gas. The season sort of caught up to us physically and on a wet field, versus a rested team. The game got difficult for us as far as finding the spaces we usually find. And credit to Point Loma; they buried their chances.”

Allyssa Larkin, in white, scored the only goal for the Broncos during the first round of the NCAA Division II Tournament. (Courtesy of Danny Barnts /PLNU Sports Information)

Minutes later, the Broncos continued with their hot start and almost found the back of the net once again after back-to-back shots from Scott. 

But the Sea Lions’ goalkeeper was able to deny the forward’s attempt. 

With 22 minutes into the game, junior midfielder Jessica Llamas almost added a second goal for the Broncos, but her attempt was not fruitful.

“In the beginning, we came out strong and we really wanted it. But I feel like as a whole, we were not committed all the way,” Llamas said. “And I feel like a lot of the reason why we lost today was because we had a lot of players (who) were injured throughout the season and that kind of caught up to us.”

Three minutes later, the Sea Lions had their first shots of the match. Fortunately for the Broncos, sophomore goalkeeper Sydney Williams was able to deny both back-to-back shots from the Sea Lions.

With eight minutes left in the first half, the Sea Lions finally broke through the Broncos’ defense and tied the match. 

The goal did not bring the Broncos down, as the team continued pushing forward and had two shots in the final two minutes.

During the first 10 minutes of the second half, both teams struggled offensively and only had one shot. 

Twelve minutes into the half, the Sea Lions scored their second goal of the match.

Following the goal, the Sea Lions continued with their pursuit for a third goal and found the back of the net during minute 67.

With their backs against the wall, the Broncos quickly pushed forward in search of a goal. 

They almost got on the board after Scott had a shot that went out left of the Sea Lions’ net. 

Despite the Broncos’ attempts for a goal, the Sea Lions’ defense was able to keep the Broncos at bay and only allowed three shots in the final 15 minutes of the match.

“Today was an amazing day; amazing weather to be playing in the NCAA Tournament first round,” junior midfield Allison Hung said.

 “As far as the game (goes), we came out well. We finished a goal in the first five minutes. But I think this team, although we did not win, still finished off the game with talent, determination and we were not going to stop fighting until the end.”

With the season coming to an end, the Broncos will look to repeat recent success and will look to add players in an attempt to replace the seven seniors.

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