Play of the Day:Jocelyn Aguilar knocks in the overtime winner to send the Oaks to their 6th win of the year.
It was only fitting that the 2nd Annual Menlo Invitational would end on a Lady Oaks overtime goal, capping off what was truly a remarkable weekend of soccer. Menlo (6-2) freshman Jocelyn Aguilar clipped the back of the net five and a half minutes into the first OT, as the Lady Oaks came away with a monster win against a Southern Oregon (4-3-1) squad who was receiving top 25 votes earlier in the week. St. Thomas University held off a late Marymount College charge to hold on for a 3-2 victory in the day's earlier game, meaning the wins by both Menlo and STU matched Westmont College as the three teams that finished the tournament at a perfect 2-0, while William Jessup, Marymount, and Southern Oregon ended the weekend winless in two chances.
Deadlocked at 2-2 into the first OT, Aguilar ended the madness with a second chance effort right in front of the net. The final play began when junior midfielder Valerie Comstock and the rest of the Lady Oaks set up for a corner just over halfway into the extra frame. Comstock's soaring liner bounded right in front of the Raiders' goal, which was then headed past SOU keeper Katelyn Allen, but fortunately for Southern Oregon they had a defender patrolling the empty net that was able to knock away the potential winner. The rebound came right to Aguilar who took care of the rest in Menlo's dramatic win.
"It felt amazing especially since it was only my second game this year and second game at home," Aguilar said on her match ending heroics. "We all just stuck together today and we wanted it. We really wanted it."
Aguilar's winning score officially put a ribbon on the Oaks riveting comeback. Menlo initially got down 2-0 within the affair's first 15 minutes, after SOU's Sydney Paulsen and Julie Zamzow each put the ball in the back of the net. Nearly four minutes after the Raiders second score, the Lady Oaks responded in big time fashion. Senior Alison Hammond hooked up with junior Natalie Ingram for Menlo's first goal of the match with 28:44 remaining in the opening period. Ingram found the back of the net for her team leading seventh goal of the 2012 campaign.
15 minutes into the second stanza, the Oaks' Erika Savela produced the equalizer. The senior from Stockholm, Sweden chipped in her sixth score of the young season and her third of the Invitational to knot up the tilt at 2-2.
Not to be lost in the thrilling action was the outstanding performance from Menlo's junior goal keeper Whitney Galindo. Without her remarkable showing in net, there is no overtime, there is no chance for Aguilar, and simply put there is no Oaks win. The native of nearby San Mateo stopped an onslaught of 13 Raider shots in stifling Southern Oregon time and time again.
"Holy cow Whitney Galindo," the sentiments of Menlo Head Coach Scott Myers after the game. "Certainly today she helped us be successful. Save after save after save and she is there, saving things that most people don't. I couldn't be any more proud of her. She is a successful young goalkeeper and she is only going to get better as we go on."
As far as the game is concerned, Myers was well aware of its overall significance. "First off credit goes to Southern Oregon, they played a heck of a great game," Myers remarked. "It definitely made this victory that much more successful because of the quality of level they play at. On our end we stuck to what we had to do and definitely earned the victory. I can't be proud enough of our ladies right now because they earned this victory. It's a win for the program that has been a long time coming, and we are just going to continue to work hard and build off of this."
With the win, the Oaks have now surpassed last year's win total with six.
In the afternoon's opening clash, St. Thomas escaped with a 3-2 victory over Marymount after nearly giving up a 3-0 lead inside the final ten minutes. Two Andrea Faerber goals within the span of just four minutes cut the deficit to 3-2, but the Bobcats ultimately survived the late Mariner run.