LA QUINTA, Calif. - The La Quinta girls' soccer team received heartbreaking news on Sunday afternoon. The CIF announced the Blackhawks are now disqualified from the CIF semifinals because of a rule violation. The CIF is making the Blackhawks forfeit their quarterfinal victory over St. Margaret's.
The team beat St. Margaret's in a dramatic shootout, 4-3 in the quarterfinals on Friday. They were set to host San Marino on Tuesday. La Quinta was without star senior forward Brielle Leon during the quarterfinals, because of a red card in the second round. According to CIF rules, a player who gets a red card cannot be in attendance at the team's next game. CIF bylaws state: "Attendance is defined as being present at the team bench/area, inside a gym, stadium or playing area."
La Quinta head coach Bob Quattlebaum said Leon watched the quarterfinals from outside a fence on a public sidewalk at the school, not considered part of the campus. Quattlebaum said he spoke to the soccer official before the game to make sure Leon's location was okay according to the CIF rules. The official said yes. "The girls are devastated," said Quattlebaum.
According to senior captain Rachael Polk, athletic director Dan Armstrong gave the team the news during a meeting on Sunday. Polk says a parent from St. Margaret's reported Leon's attendance to the game to the school's athletic director, who then reported it to the CIF. Polk gave NewsChannel 3 and CBS Local 2 this statement: "This whole season our one goal was to win the CIF title. Now, it's been ripped out of our hands without a chance to get it. For us seniors, it was our last chance to do this and because of lack of honor and acceptance that St. Margaret's had lost fair and square, we're done. I have so much love and respect for my team, but the amount of disrespect I have for not only St. Margaret's and CIF is indescribable."
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