by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
Taft College got mixed results in the first round of state soccer playoffs.
The Cougar women, playing at home, defeated Lassen College 3-1 to advance to the quarter-finals while the men, playing on the road, lost 2-1 to Feather River College.
The women, champions of the Central Valley Conference, got to play rival Fresno for a third time, but results were not available for the print edition because of the paper's holiday printing schedule.
Two freshmen were responsible for the Cougars' three goals.
Forward Carla Salazar scored two goals and midfielder Robin Peiler the other.
The first goal of the match came in the 38th minute when Salazar took a pass from Sierra Sagasta on the right side and had a clear shot that went over Lassen goalkeeper Amelia Landry's head into the net.
That was the only goal of the first half.
TC scored twice in the second half, the first coming in the 49th minute when Peiler broke free on the left side and took a crossing pass from sophomore forward Ariel Manzano.
Salazar scored the final goal, getting an assist from Arielle Stoyanow, breaking free down the middle and rifling a shot past Landry, who had nine saves on the day.
The Cougars played Lassen in the regular season and won that one 3-0.
In the waning minutes Lassen's Kiera Morgan scored from the right side off an assist from Maria Sanchez. That goal halted TC's string of eight consecutive shutouts.
"These girls have a great attitude," head coach Myisha Cutrona said. "They keep each other in line on their own. They've taken control on their own. That's nice to see."
The Cougar men, seeded No. 9, ended their season on a sour note, losing to No. 8 Feather River 2-1. Details were not available.
The men finished the season 13-6-2 while Feather River advances with a 14-5-1 record