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All of a Sudden, Chaminade Wins on Taylor's Goal, 3-2

Division IV girls' soccer: Eagles avoid shootout by beating La Salle in waning seconds of overtime.


WEST HILLS — Ten minutes after Chaminade High's Southern Section Division IV quarterfinal soccer victory over La Salle on Thursday night, ecstatic fans formed a tunnel for the players to run through.

Fifty yards from the celebration, Kim Taylor lay flat on the ground, too exhausted and too sore to move, after heading in the goal that lifted the Eagles to a 3-2 victory with under a minute left in sudden-death overtime.

Playing with leg cramps from the middle of the second half on, Chaminade's senior captain seemingly willed her team to a victory that extended its playoff winning streak to 23 games and moved the second-seeded Eagles one step closer to their fifth consecutive section championship.

Taylor scored all of the Eagles' goals, extending her scoring streak to 16 games and increasing her season total to 31 goals. The last was set up by a long throw-in from midfielder Kristina Chew.

"We wanted this win so much," Taylor said. "I've never cramped up this bad before, but there was no way I was coming out.

"This was a total team effort. We didn't want to read the headlines tomorrow saying 'Chaminade out in quarterfinals.' "

Taylor scored her first goal in the fifth minute, redirecting Lauren Nussbaum's corner kick after a scramble in front of the goal.

Kari Umland's long shot tied the score in the 20th minute.

Seventh-seeded La Salle (20-4-1) took a 2-1 lead after Nasrin Pak's clearing attempt hit teammate Meghan Powers and bounced to Alex Rowinski, who scored her 32nd goal of the season in the 60th minute.

It was only the second time this season Chaminade allowed more than one goal.

"I can't say enough about the effort of these girls," Chaminade Coach Mike Evans said. "We played hard the whole time, even when we were down. I give a lot of credit to La Salle, too. They wanted to win just like we did."

With 13:40 left in regulation, Taylor corralled a high ball with her back to the goal, warded off two defenders and sent a hard shot just under the crossbar from 25 yards.

The teams remained deadlocked through two 10-minute overtime periods, a 10-minute sudden-death period and nine minutes of the second sudden-death period before Taylor's header made a penalty kick shootout unnecessary.

"Kim was hobbling up and down the field and the referee came over and advised me to take her out in the first sudden-death period," Evans said. "I told him I wasn't going to sub for her unless he made me. She wanted to play and, frankly, I wanted her out there."

Chaminade (21-4-2) plays Mission League rival Louisville in the semifinals Tuesday at a site to be determined by a coin flip.

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