PLEASANTON—Early on, it felt like it was only a matter of time before the Pleasanton boys soccer team broke through.
The Eagles had three near-misses in the first 16 minutes against Somerset, and those turned out to be some of their best scoring opportunities of the night.
The Bulldogs avoided an early deficit and used a penalty kick to top Pleasanton 2-0 at the Eagle Complex on Friday in the teams’ regular-season finale. With the loss, the Eagles finished 1-4-1 in District 29-4A.
Pleasanton had two good chances in the first nine minutes, the second rolling just right of the goal on a shot by Matheus Rodrigues.
Rodrigues again nearly scored seven minutes later after Colby Cardenas found him with a through pass off a free kick.
“We had two shots that just barely missed,” Pleasanton coach Alex Hernandez said. “We could’ve been up three at the very beginning, and that would’ve changed the momentum of the whole game. We just kept pressuring, but we missed.”
Meanwhile, Somerset was held off the board until late in the first half.
The Bulldogs had consecutive corner kick attempts thwarted but broke through on a chip shot in the 34th minute.
Somerset extended its lead three minutes into the second half after being awarded a penalty kick.
“That penalty kick they got on us kind of shut us down. That was it,” Hernandez said. “I don’t mind when they score on us with a legitimate goal, but when they give them a penalty kick just like that, it kind of turns the whole game around.”
Hernandez said the referee called a foul on his defender for taking out the legs of a Somerset player.
“There’s a lot of flopping back there,” he said. “It’s hard to see.”
It was the beginning of a contentious finish, which featured a stoppage of play to allow coaches to calm down their teams.
With 13:09 remaining, a Pleasanton yellow card prompted a heated exchange between the teams. Players from both sides bunched up on the field, but referees and coaches separated them before anything became physical.
The Eagles received another yellow card with seven minutes left.
Three minutes prior, Pleasanton came up scoreless on back-to-back corner kicks. The second corner led to a Victor Gutierrez shot that the Somerset keeper saved.
The Eagles will return to action in the first round of the playoffs, which will likely be March 29.
Pleasanton’s postseason opponent, location and time are to be determined.
“We’re going to regroup,” Hernandez said. “I just told them to look past this game; it’s over and done with.”