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Falcons weather rain, early deficit

02/28/2014, 8:35pm PST
By Craig Malveaux

No. 2 Scripps Ranch advances to semifinals Tuesday

Scripps Ranch's Erica Stephan (right, shown in a game earlier this season) scored two goals in the Falcons' playoff win over Rancho Buena Vista on Friday.

Overcoming inclement weather and a one-score deficit, No. 2-seeded Scripps Ranch rallied behind four consecutive goals to defeat No. 10 Rancho Buena Vista 4-1 at home on Friday in the San Diego Section Division I girls soccer quarterfinals.

The Falcons (19-2-4), who received a first-round bye, will host Bonita Vista in the semifinals Tuesday.

“We played a little bit safe to counter the rain, played a little more defensively to counter their three attacking forwards and tried to keep the ball from bouncing and skipping all over the place,” said Scripps Ranch coach Larry Pernicano.

“Our normal game plan is to play on the ground one-touch, two-touch, but in these conditions, you couldn’t do that. The passes were off, the touch was a little off because the ball was pretty slick, but the girls stayed focus and played well despite the weather.”

At the 4:37 mark in the first half, junior forward Erica Stephan corralled a lob and slipped the ball under the grasp of Rancho Buena Vista’s keeper, inching Scripps Ranch ahead 2-1. That would prove to be the game-sealer for the Falcons, who equalized on Holly Neshat’s goal minutes before.

Stephan and Neshat added additional goals in the second half against RBV (12-9-4).

“It was definitely stressful out there in the rain because you have to play a different style and there is little room for error,” Stephan said. “But we came together and got it done.”

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