TRINITY — It has been a long time since the Gulf girls soccer team has been to the state playoffs.
Thursday night the Buccaneers punched their ticket to the Class 4A playoffs for the first time since 1996 by knocking out Hudson 2-0 in a 4A-7 semifinals matchup at Mustang Stadium.
“It has been a while,” Gulf coach Shari Schau said. “I’ve said all season long that this is a pretty good team and we’re going to get another shot at Mitchell tomorrow night.”
Gulf (17-1-1) seemed to have an easy opportunity to take an early lead in the 16th minute when Hudson goalkeeper Chey-Anne Savage hit Buccaneers freshman forward Catie Greene hard in the box, drawing a yellow card for Savage. Cobras backup goalkeeper Dominique Cirnigliaro made make an improbable penalty kick save against Dani Schulman to keep the game locked at zero.
The Buccaneers, though, would score less than eight minutes later on a goal by Hannah Foster and then got an insurance goal in the second half by Alicia Schulman.
Schau said Greene, who was injured on the play with Savage, would not be available for tonight’s district title match because of a badly sprained left knee.
In the late game, Mitchell cruised by No. 4 seed Pasco 5-0 behind two goals apiece from Arielle Anahory and Shannon Estes-Larkin.
Each Mustang wore a green wristband in memory of Cierra Mamonoff, a Mitchell student killed in a car accident Wednesday morning.
The Mustangs (19-2-1) wasted no time in making sure they would meet Gulf for a third time, scoring two goals less than two minutes into the match. The Mustangs dominated the Pirates, limiting Pasco (7-12-1) to one shot on goal for the game and taking 30 shots themselves.
“You see the upsets that happened with CCC and Berkeley Prep so anything can happen tomorrow night,” Mitchell coach Karl Kukec said.