The So Cal Coastal Division Championship Saw a Six-Goal Thriller in Regulation, Two Scoreless Overtime Periods, and a Penalty Shootout
Published Jul 23, 2021
Photo Credits - LA SURF MEDIA


The So Cal Conference Coastal Division was a tight race throughout the regular-season between the top three team: Los Angeles Surf Soccer Club, FC Golden State, and So Cal Union FC.

LA Surf edged out the two by a single point to claim a spot in the division championship as regular-season winners – earning them home field advantage.

Level with 16 points in standings, FC Golden State and So Cal Union would need a tie breaker to determine who would face Surf for the division title.

The difference would be settled from a penalty kick during the two’s first meeting in the third week of the season on June 13. UCLA senior Marley Canales’ game winning PK in the 86’ would secure So Cal Union’s spot in the championship based on the head-to-head tiebreaker over FC Golden State.

It should come as no surprise then that the division championship would too result in a tight-knit finish as the match would need a full 90 minutes, two overtime periods, and a penalty shootout to crown its champion.



After going down a goal twice, leveling the score twice, then finally taking the lead only to surrender it within the final three minutes of the six-goal thriller, LA Surf emerged as Coastal Division Champions after winning the penalty shootout.


"It's always difficult to balance a squad, especially with college players, who have so much going on,” Mike Davis, LA Surf head coach, said. “We have to have a deep squad, a large squad of players, along with the youth players who have come in and done a good job for us, as well.”


With players beginning to return to their respective collegiate programs, both squads fielded somewhat different lineups than they played with during their regular-season meeting where the Surf won 3-0, including Texas Christian University forward Maddy Warren, who led the Surf with eight goals.  

Despite the needed adjustments to rosters, it was So Cal Union who looked to be the more cohesive early on it the title match. University of California at Irvine freshman forward Marrissa LeVine put the visiting Union ahead 1-0 in the 15’ but the lead would be shortlived.

University of Southern California commit Simone Jackson tallied her first of two goals on the night to pull the Surf back level in the 20’.

Just nine minutes later, Union would take back their lead with a goal from Canales – whose penalty back in June sent them to the championship despite scoring 20 fewer goals that FC Golden on the season.

The first 45’ would close with Union on top but the second half would see more back-and-forth action – this time in Surf’s favor.

Down by one, Surf began the second half with inspired soccer which led to their second equalizer of the night when University of Notre Dame grad student Sammi Fisher leveled the score in the 58’.

Surf then took the lead for the first time in the match in the 68’ with just 23 minutes to play as Jackson bagged her second goal of the night.

With the momentum now in Surf’s favor, Union refused to roll over. With the final three minutes in regulation left to play, University of Minnesota graduate Mackenzie Akins scored the equalizer to send the match into overtime.

With a scoreless two overtime periods, the championship would come down to a penalty shootout that did not start out how either side hoped with both team’s opening kicks being saved by the respective goalkeeper.

Surf converted their second attempt then University of California at Davis freshman goalkeeper Joshlyn Aguirre saved the next two Union kicks to earn Surf’s first title.

A fitting ending to the ever-competitive Coastal Division.



   Author:  Andrew Mosier,  AndrewMosier6 (Twitter)
   WPSL Contributor - West Region