Ulloa walls off Golden Eagles, leads Vikings to PK win in NorCal playoff opener

Sophia Ulloa goes up for a second half save against West Hills-Lemoore
Sophia Ulloa goes up for a second half save against West Hills-Lemoore
It's not often a CCCAA soccer playoff game is scoreless after 90 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes of extra time. But that was the scene in Lemoore Thursday as the West Valley women's soccer team battled West Hills-Lemoore in the play-in round of the NorCal postseason. The intense game moved to penalty kicks where the Vikings prevailed 3-1 to advance to the next round of the NorCal regionals.
The 18th-seeded Vikings (10-9-3) controlled the opening half, dominating the time of possession and keeping the ball in the Golden Eagle half of the dry, sandy pitch. WVC came up empty with three close-range shots to open the second half, but after that, neither team could get much going offensively before time ran out.
The action stayed on the Viking side of the pitch in extra time, as the #15 Golden Eagles (10-8-2) kicked it up a notch and set the stage for a spectacular performance by West Valley keeper Sophia Ulloa. Ulloa made four of her five saves in the second period of extra time, including two point-blank West Hills attempts just seconds before time expired. Ulloa maintained her brick-wall momentum in the deciding penalty kick phase.
After Kalyah Sanders converted the opening kick for Lemoore, it was all West Valley and Ulloa. Lindsey Heen nailed the first Viking shot, and Ulloa stopped the second Lemoore shot. Andrea Aguilar missed to even it up at 1-1. A Ulloa save and a Kiana Miller conversion gave the Vikings a 2-1 lead. A spectacular Ulloa denial of a Sierra Hamilton attempt set up the winner from Emiko Kimura and a massive Viking celebration that engulfed Ulloa.
West Valley travels to north #1 Lake Tahoe (18-0-2) Saturday (11/23) with the winner taking on either 8th-seeded City College of San Francisco (11-6-3) or #9 Hartnell (10-5-7). Saturday's kickoff is 2:00pm.