TORRANCE — Mira Costa High, capitalizing on a controversial decision by the referee to add injury time, defeated Louisville, 5-4 on penalty kicks, Saturday in the final of the South Torrance girls' soccer tournament.
Mira Costa scored during injury time to force a 2-2 tie.
Kelly Blais' second goal for Mira Costa (7-1-1) tied the score after regulation had apparently expired.
Jenny Farenbaugh's goal and assist appeared to be enough to carry Louisville (7-2-1), but referee George Adeff, saying he was not informed of a rule change by tournament officials, added 4:54 of injury time to a second half that had only one brief stoppage.
Tournament rules state that no timeouts or injury time will be added to a game.
"I was following high school rules," Adeff said.
Adeff left immediately after the game. The decision left Louisville Coach Jose Perez incensed.
"I asked the referee if he knew the rules and he told me they didn't tell him the rules," Perez said. "We were robbed. It's disappointing. I think we should have won."
Louisville dominated the first half. Farenbaugh drove through two defenders before being dragged down from behind in the penalty box and Kelly Merritt converted the penalty kick for a 1-0 lead.
Moments before the half, Farenbaugh beat two defenders and scored to give the Royals a 2-0 lead.
"She's ripping it up," Perez said. "Jenny is a step ahead of everybody. The only way to stop her is if you pull her down. Nobody has been able to stop her all year."
When Louisville didn't get the ball to Farenbaugh, its offense struggled. The Royals held Mira Costa until the 61st minute when Blais, selected the tournament's most valuable player, scored.
"I'm trying to step it up for our team," said Farenbaugh, who has 12 goals and 10 assists.
"I'm trying to be a leader out there. Yeah, I think we let down for a split second, but overall we deserved to win the game. We played our hearts out."
Mira Costa forced penalty kicks when Blais scored on a header.