DANVILLE -- In stormy weather, the second-seeded San Ramon Valley girls soccer team staved off Berkeley and prevailed 5-4 in a penalty kick shootout in the North Coast Section Division I playoff semifinals Wednesday night.
San Ramon Valley goalkeeper Zoey Bauman made the only save in the shootout with a diving stop in the third round.
The Wolves (17-1-7), who will compete in the championship round for the ninth consecutive season on Saturday at Dublin High, rallied from one-goal deficits twice during a back-and-forth second half after a scoreless first half. The teams were scoreless through 20 minutes of sudden-death overtime after tying 2-2 in regulation. San Ramon Valley will face the winner of Thursday's other semifinal between No. 4 College Park and No. 1 Monte Vista, whose match was postponed because of poor weather.
"This team has the most heart than any team I've ever played on," said the Wolves' Allie Dutto, who scored to tie it 2-2 in the 63rd minute. "Everything is for the team, on the field, off the field. It's games like this where it totally shows. We went into the very end of this game, and it was raining. There was thunder. The turf was sticky, and we played through it. Our heart showed in that game, and it was awesome."
Berkeley (19-2-1) suffered a heartbreaking defeat in the semifinals for the second straight year, also bowing out to Monte Vista 5-4 in a penalty kick shootout in 2013 after leading 2-0.
Berkeley star Franny Cerny scored two goals against the defending champions who refused to fold in rainy and windy conditions. After Cerny made it 1-0 with a brilliant long shot into the corner in the 44th minute, Morgan McGarry tied it with a shot that skipped on the wet surface over goalkeeper Emma Gordon. Cerny struck again in the 57th minute, but the Wolves tied it again on a goal by Dutto off a cross from the right by Melissa Lewis.
The Wolves nearly put it away in the 74th minute, but Dutto's hard shot on a breakaway was turned back by a coming-out Gordon. The ever-threatening Dutto shot off the cross bar from the right win five minutes into overtime.
In penalty kicks, Berkeley's Abby Gold and the Wolves' Chrissy Mogannam scored in the first round. Then Berkeley's Annie Booth and Wolves' Summer Stamates scored. Bauman dived to her left to deny Farah Otero-Amad. Dutto converted to put the Wolves ahead 3-2. The Yellowjackets' final two kickers Cerny and Carlin Hudson scored, as did the Wolves' McGarry and Gabby Franklin to clinch it.