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Sunny Hills, Phull Edge Sonora


Simi Phull scored the tying goal with less than a minute remaining in regulation, then produced the game-winner four minutes into overtime, giving Sunny Hills a 3-2 victory over Sonora in a Freeway League girls' soccer game Tuesday at Sunny Hills.

The victory moves the Lancers (17-2-6, 7-1-1) ahead of Sonora into first place, and a win or tie against third-place Troy Thursday would give Sunny Hills its third consecutive league title and eighth in the last nine years.

"This means so much to our team because we had to win to get the Freeway League [title]," Phull said. "It means so much to score those goals because I've been battling the whole year to score and be a top player."

Phull tied the score with a spectacular goal in the closing seconds. The sophomore forward began a run along the sideline, then moved to her left into the middle of the field. Two defenders were waiting near the top of the penalty box, but Phull continued going left and then shot across her body with her left foot, which caught Sonora goalkeeper Erin DeWolf leaning the wrong direction.

"Incredible effort," Sunny Hills Coach Jeff Gordon said. "They were shutting her down very well and she kept telling me that she was going to keep working her way into the game."

Phull's game-winner was less spectacular, but more important because a tie would have left the Lancers a point behind Sonora. The winning goal came off a short crossing pass that skidded through several players to Phull, who beat DeWolf for her team-leading 24th goal.

"I had to beat a lot of players on the first, but the second one meant more because it was raining and just horrible conditions," Phull said. "It just means so much to win it for the team."

Sonora (13-7-3, 6-1-2) missed an excellent scoring chance with about a minute remaining in overtime. Sarah Gibson sent a cross through the box to Tina Fodor on the opposite post, but Fodor's shot hit teammate Amber Plumlee, who was standing in front of the wide-open goal.

The Raiders, who had defeated Sunny Hills, 6-0, in their first meeting Jan. 19, came back from a 1-0 halftime deficit on goals by Gibson and Laura Siapin.

In another Freeway League game:

Troy 2, Fullerton 0--Forward Grace Yoo and halfback Melanie Steinberg each scored to secure a victory for host Troy (7-12-3, 4-3-2).

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