Rachel Sutter had a kick for the Lodi High girls soccer team that the senior could be talking about to her Class of 2019’s classmates at their 10-year high school reunion.
But St. Mary’s put together a rally that its players could be talking about in the future as well. That led to St. Mary’s beating Lodi 4-3 in a Tri-City Athletic League contest at Don Rostomily Field on Thursday night.
Lodi, despite its loss, remains in the race for the league’s third and final playoff spot. Lodi (2-4 in the TCAL, 3-10-1) is in fourth place, with rival Tokay (2-3-1 in the TCAL, 5-6-3), which fell to West 3-2 also on Thursday, in third place. Tokay, which beat Lodi 1-0 in their first meeting at Hubbard Field on Jan. 10, square off with Lodi again at Don Rostomily Field next Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
“Our first goal is to make playoffs,” said Lodi coach Tim Stutz. “That’s always on our list.”
Sutter, who is headed to University of Louisiana in Lafayette, La. on a scholarship, tied the game at 2-2 in the 52nd minute of the game. Taking a pass from midfielder Andrea Becerra, Sutter, from 20 yards, booted a high-flying line drive that sent St. Mary’s goalie Natalia Ochoa out of the box, but the ball landing on the left side of the net for the goal.
“They were double-teaming, triple-teaming her every time she got the ball,” Stutz said. “That’s what she’s capable of doing. That’s why you keep her on the field.”
At the 68th minute, St. Mary’s (5-0-2 in the TCAL, 9-1-2), which led 2-1 at halftime, had a chance to break the tie. Ram defender Abigail Kern, on a penalty kick, lined her shot that saw the soccer ball curve to the left and directly outside of the box to roll out of bounds.
There were a combined four goals between Lodi and first place St. Mary’s, which beat Lodi 3-0 on Jan. 8 in which Sutter was out with injury, in the last seven minutes of the game.
The first one came in the 73rd minute, when St. Mary’s forward Catherine Cranston was able to slide a loose ball in front of the Flames’ box — after a group of Lodi and St. Mary’s players battled for possession — into the corner for a 3-2 lead.
Then two minutes later, St. Mary’s midfielder Stephanie Torres, on a loose ball, connected the soccer ball into the right side of the box that gave the Rams a 4-2 lead. But Lodi continued to battle in the final five minutes of the game.
Lodi had its first chance to score when fullback Allyson Bender had a shot on goal in a shot directly in front of the box at the 76th minute. But Ochoa scooped up the ball for the save.
On the final attempt of a shot on goal, Flame midfielder Cecilia Chinchiolo, almost had a similar shot to Sutter’s at the 78th minute. Taking the kick on the left side of the field from 20 yards, Chinchiolo booted a line drive shot to Ochoa, who at first looked like she would grab another save. But the ball slipped out of her hands and into the back of the net for the goal and a 4-3 score.
The Flames battled intensely in the final two minutes for offensive possession in an attempt to, at least, end the game in a tie. But the Rams’ defense kept the ball near midfield to secure the win.
St. Mary’s took a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute of the game when forward Meghan Debudey took a pass from a teammate on the left side of the field on the east side of the field, and fired the ball into the net.
Bender tied the game at 1-1 at the 14th minute on a penalty kick. St. Mary’s retook the lead at 2-1 at the 24th minute when midfielder Lisette Almanza attempted a penalty kick. But Lodi goalie Reese Odell slapped down the ball and was trying to put the ball in play. The ball stayed in the box, which allowed Dubdey score her first goal of the game on a simple tap of the ball into the net for the goal.
“She made so many saves tonight,” said Stutz of Odell.
Contact Mike Bush at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter: @MBushLodiSports.