Friday, March 2, 2012
Weekend Watch: Five must-see matches
By Sheldon Shealer
Each week during the high school season, ESPNHS highlights five weekend matches that have a compelling storyline or could have significant state, region and/or national implications.
This week, the section finals in California highlight the schedule.
Friday, March 2
No. 4 San Clemente (Calif.) vs. No. 5 Aliso Niguel (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) These South Coast rivals have worked their way back to face each other for the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 title. San Clemente is making its fifth straight final appearance, previously winning titles in 2008 (co-champs) and 2009. San Clemente is riding a 17-match undefeated streak, which started following a 3-1 loss to Aliso Niguel in December. During that run, San Clemente handed Aliso Niguel its only loss of the season.
No. 8 Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas) vs. Flower Mound (Texas) This District 8-5A clash features the current second- and third-place teams in a league considered to be the strongest in the state. Flower Mound is riding a 13-1-1 run since a season-opening loss. Marcus, at one point in the running for POWERADE FAB 50 No. 1, is sitting at 19-2.
Saturday, March 3
No. 2 Los Osos (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) vs. No. 15 Sunny Hills (Fullerton, Calif.)
These teams enter the CIF Southern Section Division 2 final with a combined 51-1-3 record. The lone loss in those 55 matches is Sunny Hill’s 1-0 setback to Aliso Niguel. Maribell Morales has been the top scorer for Sunny Hill’s during its 30-win season. Meanhwile, Los Osos’ offense is led by Ifeoma Onumonu and Chloe Watson.
No. 16 Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.) vs. Aragon (San Mateo, Calif.)
Ana Marija Sola has scored 12 goals with 16 assists this season, leading Mitty to this week’s CIF-Central Coast Section Division II final. Aragon reached the second final after edging Presentation (San Jose, Calif.) in the semifinals on penalty kicks. Angela Knowles is the team’s top offensive threat.
No. 17 Claremont (Calif.) vs. Bishop Amat (La Puente, Calif.) Claremont enters the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 final as the favorite, but Bishop Amat is a dangerous opponent. Madison Stark has topped the 20-goal mark to lead a very balanced and high-scoring Claremont attack. April Juarez, the section’s Player of the Year last year, leads a Bishop Amat squad aiming to repeat as section champs.