Sierra College soccer reaches state semifinals before loss
WALNUT, Calif. _ Arguably the greatest season in Sierra College women’s soccer history ended Nov. 30 with a heart-stopping 2-1 loss to Cerritos College in the California Community College Athletic Association state championship semifinals at Mt. San Antonio College.
The Wolverines lost by only a single goal to the eventual state champions. Sierra dug itself out of a 2-0 hole with a furious 20-minute second-half attack, only to fall short of what would have been the program’s first state title match.
Scoring machine Miani Mahannah found the back of the net in the 50th minute and nearly tied it up 23 minutes later on a wide-open attempt stopped by the Falcons’ goalkeeper.
Cerritos’ second goal seemed to ignite the Wolverines (16-6-4) as they kept the ball in the Falcons’ half of the pitch the remainder of the night. Mahannah’s fifth goal, assisted by Caroline Stromick, sparked a celebration that faded when Mahannah’s 73rd-minute shot was stopped.
Wolverines’ head coach Jason Gantt’s club stormed through the playoffs winning 3-1 in the rain over Cosumnes River College. Sierra than topped Evergreen Valley 2-1 and defeated Fresno City College by the same score in the Nor Cal Region finals.
Mackenzie Edwards was named the Big 8’s Defensive Player of the Year, and Edwards, Mahannah, Stromick, Monet Filteau and Marissa Griffin were All Big 8 selections. Mahannah had 41 points, 18 goals and five assists this season.
While Sierra will certainly miss graduating goalkeeper Janell Grace, Mahannah, Stromick and defender Ali Palacios, 16 Wolverines are slated to return next year.