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Spiders fall in finale

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San Diego 2, Spiders 1

A free kick and a questionable call helped the San Diego Women's Football Club clinch the WPSL championship with a 2-1 victory over the Utah Spiders on Saturday night at Juan Diego High School.

San Diego took the lead for good when forward Jennifer Lolar's free kick sailed over the outstretched hands of Spiders goalie Mackenzie Hyer midway through the second half.

But it was San Diego's first goal of the night that had Spiders coaches, players and fans upset at the end of the game.

In the first half San Diego forward Sufia Wali took an open shot but had it blocked by Hyer, who appeared to have both hands on the ball. Then Wali kicked the ball out of Hyer's hands and into the net to give San Diego a 1-0 lead.

"She (Hyer) had it in her hands and had it taken away," said Spiders coach Marco Rossi. "It was a foul. You can't have that."

Wali disagreed and so did the referees.

"She bobbled it and I kicked it in," Wali said.

San Diego coach Brian Quinn said his team was fortunate to win.

"I'm thrilled," Quinn said. "This is the toughest place to play in the league. We knew if we played anything less than our best we wouldn't win."

Rossi agreed that San Diego was fortunate to win.

"Everyone who saw this game knows we easily could have won this game," Rossi said. "Both of their goals were fortunate."

Rossi said the biggest difference between the two teams was San Diego's superior speed. To help counter San Diego's speed, Rossi's strategy was to play long ball for the first time this season.

In the first half the Spiders had a hard time using the strategy and didn't gel as a unit. Utah adjusted in the second half and played much better.

Forward Jill Jakowich scored the Spiders' lone goal of the game early in the second half when she took control of a loose ball just outside of the goalie box and smashed it past the San Diego defense.

"This will help us build for next season," Rossi said. "Next year we're going to try and win it all. We made some teams look silly this year."

The Spiders finished the season at 8-5-1.