Wilson doesn’t care if its first round CIF Southern Section Division 2 playoff game wasn’t the most exciting affair of the season. The Bruins got the game-winning goal from Brooke Karatsu-Boteilho and held on to beat Flintridge Sacred Heart 1-0.
“A win is a win in playoffs,” Wilson first-year coach Brian Irvin said. “I thought we would be able to create a little bit more.”
The Bruins (13-6-4) outshot Flintridge Sacred Heart 10-2 in the game as the visitors only had one shot per half. It’s the 13th clean sheet of the season for Wilson goalkeeper Olivia Herrera.
“Deep down inside you always have that apprehension but I didn’t change my formation to try and go for another goal to put the final nail in the coffin,” Irvin said. “We were creating half chances, but it didn’t come. The execution in the final third is what we were missing.”
Wilson was also missing Camryn Cruz due to injury, and the sophomore Karatsu-Boteilho stepped in to take her spot in the middle of the formation. Cruz is the leading points getter for the Bruins.
“Those are big shoes to fill, it’s Camryn Cruz, she’s been clutch all season,” Karatsu-Boteilho said. “I had to mentally prepare because I had to play like Camryn so we could get through this.”
Wilson dominated possession for the entire game while Flintridge Sacred Heart played behind the ball and tried to break out on the counter attack.
In the 20th minute, Reese Doherty sent in a perfect cross off a corner kick. Eleni Voulgaris came charging into the 18-yard box for a blistering header, but Flintridge Sacred Heart goalkeeper Olivia Ocon punched it out for the save. Karatsu-Boteilho met the rebound at the top of the box and chipped it over Ocon for the goal while being taken to ground.
“I didn’t know it went in because the sun was in my eyes,” Karatsu-Boteilho said. “Somehow the ball popped out and this girl was trying to body me. I had to kind of go through her and just chipped it over the keeper because she was out of position.”
“Missing Camryn Cruz is a big blow but (Karatsu-Boteilho) stepped in and did a great job,” Irvin said. “Just think if I had Camryn and Brooke, more goals might have been produced.”
Karatsu-Boteilho tallied a game-high four shots while playing all 80 minutes. Three of her shots were on frame.
“She has a lot of energy and stays after practice to work on her shots,” Irvin said of Karatsu-Boteilho. “She has that dedication and work ethic that I can trust her in a big game like this.”
Karatsu-Boteilho found out this week she would be starting for Cruz, but she didn’t change her pregame routine.
“I sit in my room beforehand and just chill,” Karatsu-Boteilho said. “Then before the game I don’t really talk to anybody. I’m just off to the side because I have to get locked in. It takes a lot for me to finally get focused because my mind is all over the place.”
Wilson travels to Hart on Wednesday for the second round.
“We beat Poly on the road in one of the biggest moments of our season, we tied Millikan on the road to clinch, so we’ll take that kind of approach and attitude into this game,” Irvin said.
Wilson is 4-0-1 on the road this season. Hart (10-2-2) is the Foothill League champion and beat Oak Park 2-1 in the first round.
“We have to grind it out at practice,” Karatsu-Boteilho said. “We didn’t play our best so we have to step it up. We have to refocus again.”