Lizzie Goss, an All-Channel League star in both soccer and golf, spent a sleepless Sunday night while trying to decide which sport she’d play the next day.
After getting a last-minute approval to play both, the Santa Barbara High senior spent another short — but happy — night of slumber on Monday.
“We played the late match and then had soccer practice this morning at 6:45,” she said. “But I’ve got no complaints. I’m really glad to be out there.”
Goss and teammate Ella Williams, a transfer from the Lake Tahoe area, both played for the Dons at the Santa Barbara Municipal Golf Course on Monday afternoon. Goss shot a 42, just two shots off the medalist round carded by teammate Melia Haller, while Williams came in with a 51 in Santa Barbara’s 234-303 victory over Bishop Diego.
They had no time to savor victory, rushing from the course to Buena High. They arrived 45 minutes before the start of an evening soccer contest which ended in a 0-0 tie.
“Our backline was solid, with all four seniors — Lizzie Goss, Bri Lopez, Liberty Tank and Kendall Dawson — keeping things under control the whole game against a very good offensive Buena team,” Dons’ coach Willie Sims said.
Goss, who played outside back for all 80 minutes of the match, said she was pleasantly surprised with the result.
“Buena has a really good team, and we have a lot of new players who hadn’t played a game together,” she said. “I really haven’t been able to practice with the team — just play golf — although there are a decent amount of players who are also on my club team (the Santa Barbara Soccer Club).
“Our defense played really well. They had some strong players up top.”
Golf season, which is normally played in the fall, and soccer, a winter sport, were both pushed back to this spring by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“They were saying that I’d be able to play both golf and soccer once the COVID cases reached the red tier,” Goss said. “Golf is a purple-tier sport and soccer is in the red tier.
“But then all of a sudden it changed, and they said I could only play one.”
Her family asked the school administration and Santa Barbara School Board to reconsider that decision.
“My dad and I worked together, sending emails out to Frann Wageneck, the assistant superintendent; Todd Heil, the athletic director; Elise Simmons, the principal, and Kate Ford and Laura Capps with the school board,” she said. “We had to get as many resources as we could to fight it.”
David Goss said his daughter had been greatly conflicted about the situation.
“Both her soccer coach and golf coach have been asking her for weeks to pick between the two,” he said. “She refused to pick as she loves both sports equally.”
When she awoke Monday morning, she still didn’t know which sport she would choose.
“I really had no idea,” Goss said. “I really wasn’t leaning toward a certain one. Either way, I would’ve felt I was letting down my coaches and teammates.
“I was just praying that (an approval) would get passed.”
Her prayers were answered just hours before the Dons were to tee up at the Santa Barbara Municipal Course.
“Needless to say, it was an emotional day for the Goss family,” David said.
Santa Barbara golf coach Ryan Throop moved Goss and Williams into the first group so they could finish in time to make the soccer match at Buena.
“It was so awesome of him to make that happen,” Goss said. “My score was decent, not great. It was my first competitive round in a while.
“I’m just super-thankful I was allowed to play, and that everyone came together to help me and Ella.”