Islander Ava Worthy ...

Ava Worthy sending the ball back down field in recent Lady Islanders soccer action.

Every team wants to head into the playoffs hot. No question. Playing your best ball at the right time is more critical than any early-season success.

So for the Coronado Islander girls soccer team, picking up two wins would give them that much-needed heat check before the start of the CIF DI Playoff run.

It wasn’t going to be easy, as they would show down with Point Loma High School. But with the talent they possessed on the pitch, a win to end the season was well within their capabilities.

Coronado would truly dominate most of this game. For 70 minutes, they were the better team on the pitch. And yet they still would fall 2-1.

In the first half, the team’s play would be highly aggressive. At the top end, Katelyn McGrath, Sydney Dunn, and Xiomara McKenna would generate shots on goal in the 6th, 9th, and 11th minutes.

Emily Kuite and Josie Jenkins would each fire shots on goal, but would sadly bang off the crossbar to keep the game at 0-0.

On the night, the Islanders would actually connect with the top crossbar on four separate occasions. While, on the one hand, it reflected the team’s ability to find quality looks, it was also incredibly frustrating to watch. As it felt as if the Islanders should have been up 2-0 by the time we hit the half. Instead, we remained scoreless at the break.

Out of the half Coronado’s strong play would continue to show. On the backline Ava Worthy, Gianna Quijano, and Zoe Searles would play a near impenetrable style of defense.

Perhaps the most impressive play coming from Worthy in the 65th as she stopped a potential breakaway with a great stop in the corner.

However, the issues of goals still remained. Despite continuing to generate quality looks on goal, Coronado could not find the goal-ahead ball.

And with time slowly ticking down, momentum began to build for Point Loma. That momentum would rapidly result in a goal in the 72nd minute to put the Pointers up 1-0.

However, just when they needed it, the Islanders would answer. Just one minute later, Katelyn McGrath would be taken down in the box. Awarding Coronado a penalty.

Emily Kuite would then step up and bury the PK into the top right corner, tying the contest at one a piece.

Unfortunately for the Islanders, that moment of sheer happiness would be relatively short-lived. As unbelievably, the Pointers would score 35 seconds later to take a 2-1 lead.

Coronado would attempt to find an equalizer, but it would never arrive, and they would fall by the 2-1 final.

But don’t fear, Islander faithful, as these Lady Islanders’ season is not done. The Islanders postseason run is set to begin this coming week as they earned the number two overall seed in CIF San Diego’s DI Playoff bracket. As the two seed they will get a first round bye.

VOL. 113, NO. 7 - Feb. 15, 2023

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