Reed, the High Desert League regular season champion, lost in a shootout (1-1, 5-4 in penaltly kicks) to Sierra League No. 4 seed Douglas in a first-round regional playoff at Damonte Ranch High School.
Reed and Douglas took the 1-1 tie into two 15-minute overtime periods without a goal scored. With the deadlock still intact, the match was sent into a penalty kick shootout.
The Raiders took the first penalty kick. Rica Martinez stepped up and put it into the left center of the net, giving Reed a 1-0 penalty kick advantage.
Douglas’ Brian Randall crushed a shot into the bottom left corner to even the shootout.
Next, Reed’s Carlos Monreal had similar placement to Martinez, giving Reed another score. Douglas’ Cole Cline then evened things up again.
Romero Sandoval hit the right side of the net for a 3-2 Reed lead. Douglas goalkeeper Ivan Gonzalez stepped up to take a penalty shot and scored on Licciardi into the far right side of the net.
Then it was Licciardi’s turn for some offense, and the young keeper did not disappoint, putting Reed ahead by one score, 4-3. Douglas’ fourth kicker, Corbin Zumpft responded and put a low shot in under Licciardi to tie the score one final time.
Last for Reed, Campbell stepped up but Gonzalez was able to dive in front of Campbell’s low right side shot to keep the 4-4 shootout tie in place. For the Tigers, Edgar Arceo buried a shot into the top right, over Licciardi, ending the deadlock and giving the win to the upset-minded Tigers, 5-4.
“PK’s are a rough way to lose it,” Reed coach Jeff Valentine said. “I still believe we had the best goalie. Their guy made a great save though, so you’ve got to give them all the credit.”
Both squads had trouble putting together much offense throughout regulation play. Douglas was able to strike first with a goal 13 minutes into the game by Arceo on a Reed breakdown.
“Our lack of concentration gave them their first goal and only goal,” Valentine said.
The Raiders were able to even things up in the 18th minute. Campbell took a free kick for the Raiders, from 50 yards out and placed the ball perfectly for Martinez to get a head on it and score, tying the contest at 1-1.
Neither team could put another score together in the rest of the first half or through the second half and 30 minutes of overtime.
“It was a great game actually,” Valentine said. “It was a very good match. We didn’t play our best game, but it was a good match.”
The Raiders were hurt by the loss of starting forwards Marco Licciardi and Dylan Valentine, both potential all-league players.
Marco Licciardi was given a yellow card just a minute after his team scored in the first half. He was handed a second yellow three minutes into the first overtime on a controversial call by the officials. Licciardi and Douglas keeper Gonzalez went for a 50-50 ball around the 18-yard box and there was contact between both players. Licciardi was whistled for the yellow card and forced to leave the game.
“I don’t know what happened. I don’t even think he knows,” Valentine said, alluding to the second foul that was called against Licciardi. “It was horrible. It was a clean play.”
Dylan Valentine left the game about 10 minutes later with an ankle injury.
“He got cleated,” coach Valentine said. “Cleats up is an automatic red in that preseason clinic that he (the lead official) gave. So that was a horrible (missed) call.”
Coach Valentine made had no reservations about his feelings on the match’s officiating.
“Two calls made that game, I really do believe that and I hope that the refs read that,” Valentine said. “A horrible yellow, a second yellow took one of our forwards out of the game and then a cleats up took our other forward out.
“When you talk about that in pregame, before the season starts and that’s the head referee who didn’t make that call. That’s an automatic red for them. Horrible call. So we had both our starting forwards out of the game for horrible calls and I’m going to stick by that.”
Marco Licciardi and Dylan Valentine likely would have taken penalty kicks if they were available to play.
“It’s tit for tat, everybody has to make choices and they’re the ones who got the cards,” Douglas coach Milko Vasquez said.
The Raiders, who had 13 seniors on their roster, finished the season 9-0-3 in league play. They were the only team entering the playoffs that was unbeaten in conference clashes.
While the Raiders season is over, there is still quite a bit of postseason soccer to be played. On Wednesday, Douglas will face Galena at 5 p.m. at Damonte Ranch in one boys regional semifinal. In the other, Hug and Bishop Mangoue will meet at 7 p.m. to decide which two teams head to state and participate in the regional championship match.