TEMPLETON — The Templeton Eagles Girls soccer team finished their magical postseason run on Friday afternoon when they fell to the no. 1 seed in Division 3 of the Central Section, Kingsburg, 1-0 in a heartbreaking overtime loss. Templeton entered the Central Section Division 3 playoffs as a 7-seed after finishing the regular season 6-4-2 and in third place in the Ocean League.
The girls in green entered the postseason with their offense on fire, riding a two-game winning streak accompanied by an 18 goal explosion, and stayed hot in their first-round matchup against Reedley at home on May 19. Templeton’s offense was working early and often as both Lauryn English and Emily Putia recorded hat tricks in the game. The Eagles went into halftime up 6-0 and cruised to a 9-2 first-round victory.
In the second round of the Division 3 playoffs, the Eagles faced off against the no. 2 overall seed in Golden West, who was 12-3-1 on the year. Templeton struck first thanks to a corner kick put into the back of the net by Merran Grindley, and the Eagles entered halftime up 1-0. In the second half, Templeton added one more goal, this time off the foot of Puita, and dug in on defense. The Trailblazers added one goal in the second half but could not get a second as Templeton advanced to the semifinals against an all too familiar foe, Nipomo.
The Nipomo Titans finished the regular season as the undefeated Ocean League Champions at 10-0-3 and beat the Eagles twice in the process. The two teams met in the first game of the season in Templeton, with the Titans winning 2-1, and met the second time on Apr. 27. In the second game, the Eagles led 1-0 at the half but lost 3-1 after allowing three second-half goals.
Last Wednesday, the two teams met for a third and final time this season, and this time the Eagles walked away with the 3-1 win. Templeton once again jumped out to a first-half lead on a Lindsay English follow-up less than 10 minutes into the game. The girls entered halftime up 1-0, but this time, they not only held their lead, but they also added to it. Grindley scored on a Puita assist, and a few minutes later, Puita added a goal of her own as Templeton slammed the door on a comeback.
Templeton advanced to the CIF Central Section Division 3 CIF Championship game against Kingsburg with the victory over Nipomo. After defeating the no.2 and no.3 overall seeds, the Eagles needed just a little more magic to take down the top team in the Division but came up just short. The two teams fought to a stalemate in the first and second halves, which led to sudden-death overtime where the Vikings eventually scored.
The girl’s team of Kylee Dougherty, Helia Bushong, Merran Grindley, Lindsay English, Maddie Bobbit, Nicole Klymshyn, Mairine Jaeger, Lauryn English, Olivia Wells, Ella Thompson, Kailey Giubbini, Emily Puita, Michaela Wong, Claire Duenow, Eliana Cunningham, Emma Hamilton Payne, Summer Larson, Rayne Waltmire, Megan Rubin and Sophia Sanchez finished the season 9-5-2 overall. Templeton will graduate 10 of their girls in June but still return lots of talent and will be one of the top teams in the Ocean League next winter.