Ventura College forward Alix Tirado scored her 27th goal of the season in the 53rd minute of the game Tuesday at Saddleback to bring the Pirates to within 3-2, but VC could not find an equalizer in the final 35 minutes, falling to the Bobcats in the second round of the Southern California Regional Playoffs in Mission Viejo. Ventura goalie Kambria Haughton had an excellent game, keeping the Pirates within striking distance with six saves against the No. 2 seed in the bracket.
The Bobcats, who came into the contest with an 18-1-2 mark on the year yielding just four goals, took the early lead with a score in the 5th minute.
The No. 7-seeded Pirates held fast, however, as Annette Castrejon tied the game in the 24th minute with a powerful strike from distance on the left side, assisted by Tirado.
Saddleback came up big at the end of the first half, punching in a pair of scores within a minute of each other to hold a 3-1 advantage at halftime.
Tirado made a game of it early in the second half, slotting a shot into the net in the 53rd minute off an assist by Justice Jones to cut the deficit.
Over the final 35 minutes of play Haughton, who had four saves on the night, kept the Pirates in the game in goal, but the VC offense was unable to find the equalizer.
The Bobcats held a 14-6 advantage on total shots in the game, and held a 7-3 margin in shots on goal.
Ventura finishes the season with an overall record of 16-4-3. They claimed the program's 17th Western State Conference title with a 9-1-2 conference mark.
Despite the setback on Tuesday, the 2021 season was certainly one to remember for the Pirates.