The official scoreline will always read 0-0. That makes the fact that 39 balls hit the back of the net in a girls soccer playoff match all the more remarkable.
As chronicled in the Torrance Daily Breeze, a California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section Division II playoff match saw Redondo (Cal.) Union High and Temecula (Cal.) Great Oak High play to a 0-0 tie through regulation, and overtime, necessitating a penalty kick shootout to determine which team would advance to the state quarterfinals. From there, things got loopy, with both teams connecting or missing on offsetting penalty attempts through 40 penalty kicks.
Finally Great Oak hit its 21st attempt to take a 20-19 PK lead. Redondo’s Janel De Curtis walked up, stroked an attempt at goal and saw it gobbled up by Great Oak goalie Sarah Victor. The save ended up the game, and Redondo’s season, after a stunning 42 penalty kick attempts.
No video of the incredible penalty kick sequence has emerged as of yet, but you can see great still shots from the game in this Daily Breeze photo gallery.
"They were a great team to play against," Great Oak coach Alicia Brennan told the Daily Breeze. "Obviously, we were both evenly matched. It didn't look like any of our girls or theirs either were going to miss during the penalty kicks.
"We've gone to [penalty kicks] before, but nothing like this. It was crazy. Even the referees were like, `We haven't been this far either."'
The ridiculous penalty kick matchup comes almost exactly a year after a similarly ludicrous PK playoff game in California between two boys teams lasted 50 penalty kicks … and two days.
Luckily, this matchup concluded on the same day it started, though that hardly made its conclusion easier for the Redondo players and coaches to stomach.
"The only reason it hurts so much is because this team really loves one another and I think we had the talent and chemistry to maybe go all the way," Redondo coach Shelly Marsden emotionally told the Daily Breeze. "Having so much to look forward to in a CIF run and have it cut short because we only made 19 of 21 [penalty kicks] is tough to swallow.
"They're probably going to be pretty upset for several days before the lingering sadness dissipates and they can start to look at all the positives that they had this season. It's tough."