On a frigid Tuesday night, two of the top contenders in the Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division girls’ soccer race squared off in a game that was dominated by defense.
With only a total of seven shots on goal between Woodside and Burlingame High School, it seemed a 0-0 draw would be the only fitting outcome, and that is exactly how it ended up.
With the first shot of the match coming 30 minutes in, it was apparent that both teams had figured out their defensive strategies early on.
It was the offensive game plan that both teams seemed to struggle with for the entire 80 minutes.
However, in Burlingame’s eyes, this match should have resulted in a 1-0 win for the Panthers, but that was not the case.
With three minutes left in the first half, it looked as if the Panthers had broken the 0-0 tie with a hard-fought goal by forward Abby Hohenschuh.
But after the referees huddled for several minutes, they overturned the goal and ruled a goal kick for the Wildcats.
The Panthers fans, outraged because they were not able to hear the explanation, let the officials know how they felt.
When asked what he felt about the call, Burlingame coach Phillip De Rosa did not hide his true feelings.
“I’ve been coaching for a long time, and this was by far the worst decision I have seen made by an official in a long time,” De Rosa said. “I am completely dumbfounded to say the least. There is a lot riding on these games, and when you overturn a call like that, you have to be absolutely positive that it was not a goal, and he clearly was not.”
Shining bright for the Panthers in the draw was goalie Leila Torres, who was only tested three times all game, but was sharp when her team needed her to be.
With the tie, the Panthers’ record goes to 3-0-4 in league play this season, keeping them in the third spot in the PAL Bay Division standings.
As for Woodside, the Wildcats remain in the top spot of the PAL Bay Division with a 5-1-1 league record.