Westview senior goalkeeper Andrea Leano and her fellow team captains helped get the Wolverines inspired before their playoff encounter against Steele Canyon with the words of famed basketball coach Pat Riley, “You’re either in or you’re out …”
After 80 minutes of scoreless regulation play, 15 more in overtime and an extended penalty-kick session in the San Diego Section Division II girls soccer semifinals, Westview is still in.
With Leano holding firm, the second-seeded Wolverines finally prevailed when senior Kylie Vasil converted in the eighth round of PKs for 4-3 edge Tuesday night.
The victory enables the host Wolverines (18-6-2) to bid for their sixth title since 2005 on Saturday at Del Norte in a finals rematch against defending champion La Costa Canyon.
“All I needed to do was just focus,” said Leano, who had five saves and has allowed no goals in two playoff games. “Before the game, I just wanted to cheer my team up. We just got our own game working together.”
Westview ended a 20-game unbeaten streak by No. 3 Steele Canyon (22-2-1), which fell despite top play by goalkeeper Jessica Warner. After Vasil connected, the final Cougars attempt was off target.
“This meant a lot to us, all we’ve been working for this season,” Vasil said. “I just went up, took a deep breath and kicked it.”