Tigers, Pioneers end in scoreless tie

Mac-Hi's girls take a 7-1-2 record into the playoffs after the tie with Ontario Saturday.

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Mac-Hi's Belen Betancourt takes a fall after getting the push-off from Ontario's Shawna McAvoy (right) during their game Saturday. Ontario's Janie Roque looks on at left.

MILTON-FREEWATER — Mac-Hi and Ontario finished their Special District 7 girls soccer match at Shockman Field on Saturday afternoon the way they commenced it.


Tied at 0-0.


The Pioneers, who claimed the league championship 10 days ago, ended up 7-1-2 in Special District 7 matches and will take a 7-3-3 overall record into the state playoffs. Mac-Hi will host a postseason contest Nov. 10 at Shockman Field. A time and opponent have yet to be determined.


"Ontario played an awesome game," Mac-Hi coach Martin Martinez said. "They were more physical than we expected."


The Tigers threatened to break the ice in the seventh minute of the opening half, but senior forward Liz Cacho headed a corner kick over the top of the Pioneers’ net from 10 yards out.


Mac-Hi, playing without Emily Childers due to her participation in the district cross-country meet, had its best opportunity of half one at the 31:50 mark when Belen Betancourt ripped a shot from the top of the 18-yard box that grazed off the top of the bar.


About a minute earlier, Mac-Hi lost the services of Micaela Epifanio due to an injury suffered on a hard tackle.


"We had to throw in girls that have not gotten much playing time and others were playing out of position," Martinez said.


Maria Rincon, one of six Pioneer girls soccer players recognized at halftime as part of Senior Recognition Day, came close to putting Mac-Hi in front on two occasions in the second half.


Her first attempt was blocked by an Ontario defender in the goalie box with four minutes gone in the period.


The second was even more heart-rendering. In the 69th minute, Rincon blocked a clearing pass by the Ontario defense on the left side of the pitch and claimed possession on the end line.


Rincon dribbled in and rocketed a shot off the outside of the near post.


"It was a beautiful shot," Martinez said. "I hoped she would have (gotten) that goal, but the pole denied it."


Prior to Rincon’s latter boot, the Pioneers’ Andrea Roeder sent a shot over the top in the 65th minute and Kariss Carillo was denied from the 18 at the 59-minute mark.


Ontario’s Shawna McAvoy provided the Tigers with their best chance of half two, but sent a 15-yard shot past the near post at 62:49.

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