By DAN GOLDMAN
SACRAMENTO Unprecedented. Unimaginable. Unfathomable.
And in the end, unbelievable.
The Bret Harte High School girls' soccer team's 3-1 overtime thriller against Summerville in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV championship on Saturday at American River College was one of those you-had-to-see-it-to-believe-it type games.
The Bullfrogs (17-5-5) successfully concluded the most improbable postseason run this side of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks when senior midfielder Julie Lauterbach forced overtime in the game's waning minutes on nothing less than a miracle goal and then scored the first of Bret Harte's two goals in overtime to secure the program's first section title.
Bret Harte's last section title was won the the girls' track team in 2001.
As the third-place finisher in the Mother Lode League, Bret Harte couldn't have had a more difficult road to the section championship. Not only did the Frogs have to win three straight road games against three league champions, but they had to do it against one team they they had never played (Golden Empire League champion Marysville) and two (Trans-Valley League champion Hilmar and MLL champion Summerville) against which they had an 0-4-1 record this season.
"It's been a long week driving every other day and playing in the valley heat, but this team did what it does best face adversity and play pure soccer until the final whistle," Bret Harte coach Jennifer Truman said.
After falling behind 1-0 at the 18-minute mark of the first half on a penalty kick by Jordan Vermillion, Bret Harte and Summerville (23-2-2) traded shots and blocks for the next 50-plus minutes of action until the Frogs were awarded a seemingly innocent free kick with less than 10 minutes remaining in the game.