STOCKTON — Alyssa Ruiz turned in one final moment of brilliance for the Atwater High girls soccer team.
The senior striker used her speed to beat the last defender to the outside and then fired a blast to the far post from about 16 yards out to give Atwater a fighting chance with 20-plus minutes to go on Tuesday afternoon.
The Falcons unfortunately needed at least one more moment as it fell 2-1 on the road to St. Mary's in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 2 playoffs.
"They were a very good team," Atwater coach Steve Menezes said. "Alyssa scored probably the best goal of her entire career. We had about 20 to 25 minutes left after that and it was just back and forth.
"They're keeper stopped some good shots and we just came up short."
Stephanie Pawek and Taylor Long found the back of the net for the Rams (19-4-3).
Valeria Perez made five saves for the Falcons.
McClatchy 3, Golden Valley 1
SACRAMENTO Sara Callister's 20th goal of the season helped the Cougars go into the half all tied up at 1-1.
McClatchy struck for two quick goals in the first 15 minutes of the second half, and that proved the difference in a Division 1 first-round playoff game.
Brianna Bond assisted on the Callister goal and Mariah Hermosillo made five saves in the loss for GV (13-8-3).
Merced 12, Golden Valley 1
Megan Kravec picked up four hits and drove in two and Madilyn Nickles allowed one run on three hits to help the Bears close out the regular season with a win.
Reanne Lewis, Miranda Mendoza and Chelsea Evans all finished with multiple hits for Merced.
Le Grand 12, Gustine 2
LE GRAND Shelbee Baraza's double and two RBI helped Le Grand grab a share of the Southern League title with a victory over Gustine.
Rebecca Nichols tossed a four-hitter and had plenty of run support with the Bulldogs (13-4, 12-2 SL) scoring 10 runs in the first three innings.
Los Banos 4, Central Valley 3
LOS BANOS Chester Amaral tossed a complete game and helped his own cause with a two-run double at the Tigers finished its season with a victory.