Los Angeles Preps: Local Soccer
DOWNEY -- The battle to determine the nation’s top girls’ soccer team lived up to its billing and, in the end, it was Aliso Niguel beating Los Osos of Rancho Cucamonga, 3-2, Saturday afternoon in the Southern California Regionals Girls Division I championship at Justice Stadium on the campus of Warren High School.
Freshman Lauren Miller had the game-winner in the 66th minute, capping a furious rally that stunned the nation’s top-ranked squad, according to ESPNHS.
“I didn’t bat an eye,” Aliso Niguel co-head coach Randy Dodge said of his team’s three-goal flurry early in the second half. “Without a doubt now, we’re the national champions for the Winter season.”
Aliso Niguel (22-1-5), which avenged its only loss in the CIF-Southern Section final, initially struggled to build rhythm, getting flagged for offsides four times in the first 10 minutes. And despite falling behind 2-0, the Wolverines never really lost control of the match.
Lindsay Doyle cut the deficit in half in the 56th minute before netting the equalizer four minutes later.
“That first goal just got us back in it,” Doyle said.
Los Osos forward Ifeoma Onumonu reached the 30-goal plateau. She struck in the 24th minute thanks to a fortunate bounce, taking advantage of failed clearance. The ball deflected off teammate Sydney Johnson, and Oregon State-bound keeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme tried leaving the box but Onumonu wasted no time, depositing a bullet shot into the lower right corner from 20 yards out.
Onumonu scored again six minutes into the second half, cleaning up a giveaway inside the box. Los Osos (25-1-3) nearly made it 3-0 a few minutes later but Prudhomme was heroic with a diving save in a one-on-one situation.
Then the tide shifted.
“Our team has a tendency to come back,” Prudhomme said. “We created chances to win it. I think my save got us a little excited.”
Boys Division I
Paramount 2, Crescenta Valley (La Crescenta) 1
Girls Division I
Aliso Niguel 3, Los Osos (Rancho Cucamonga) 2
Boys Division II
St. Augustine (San Diego) 2, Lindsay 1, OT
Girls Division II
Santa Margarita Catholic (Rancho Santa Margarita) 2, Bishop Amat (La Puente) 1
Ventura High School's boys soccer team had scored 99 goals in its first 29 games. Marina's had conceded eight in its first 27. When the teams faced off in Tuesday's CIF Southern Section Division I semifinal, the advantage went to the Cougars.J.J. Leon scored a goal and assisted another -- delivering a cross for Erick Sandoval -- to send Ventura (23-0-7) to a 2-0 victory over their Huntington Beach-based foe (18-3-7) and into Saturday night's final against second-seeded Millikan (25-2-4).
The Rams, from Long Beach, rallied from a two-goal deficit after just 15 minutes to tie Los Angeles' Loyola (22-4-6) in the other D1 semi, then prevailed on penalties when Steven Barrera made two saves in the shootout.
Millikan, in its second final in four years, received goals from Kyle Nicolau before halftime and Jaime Salazar in the closing minutes.
In other CIF Southern Section boys semifinals:
Capistrano Valley 2, La Sierra 1: The Cougars (11-12-4), from Mission Viejo, scored twice in the final three minutes to upset Riverside's La Sierra (18-5-5) and reach their second straight Division 2 final. Kevin Baboiyan knocking home the rebound when Eagles goalkeeper Victor Rodriguez saved Dylan Browning's penalty kick, and Browning netted the winner a minute later, appearing to deflect the ball into the net with his upper arm.
Valley View 2, Coachella Valley 1: Danny Rivas scored with four minutes to go in regulation to tie the score and Miguel Hernandez tallied in overtime to lead the second-seeded Eagles (19-2-6), from Moreno Valley, to a 2-1 Division 2 triumph at Thermal's Coachella Valley (14-7-1).
Paramount 3, Santa Ana Valley 1: Tommy Osorio scored in the fourth minute, Danny Garcia in the 15th, and the second-seeded Pirates (21-4-3) continued their quest for a third successive Division 3 championship. It was Paramount's third postseason victory over the Falcons (17-8-2) in three seasons, including a triumph en route to the Southern California Regional championship -- the closest thing California has to a state title -- two years ago.
Channel Islands 2, Palmdale 0: Everaldo Fernandez converted a 62nd-minute penalty kick and Hector Mottu scored nine minutes later as the Raiders (19-2-4), from Oxnard, toppled Palmdale (25-4-0) in a Division 3 clash.
Three title game rematches and another from two years ago highlight the semifinal fare in the California Interscholastic Federation soccer playoffs, with the Southern and Los Angeles City sections determining their finalists on Tuesday.
Two of the 2011 rematches are in Southern girls action, with Oaks Christian, from Westlake Village, looking to again defeat Canyon Springs in a Division 4 clash in Moreno Valley, and San Juan Capistrano's St. Margaret's, last year's champ, playing at San Dimas (at Bonita High School in La Verne) in Division 6.
In the City section, defending champ Northridge Academy takes on LACES in a Small Schools rematch.
In the Southern Section's Division 3 semis, Paramount -- looking for a third successive CIF title -- meets Santa Ana Valley, its foe in the 2010 final.
Finals will be played Friday and Saturday, with City Section games at Contreras Learning Center in Los Angeles and Southern Section title games slated for Mission Viejo High School and Warren High School in Downey.
Oaks Christian is seeking is fifth title since 2005. San Clemente has been to four straight Southern girls Division 1 finals; El Camino Real's girls, from Woodland Hills, are looking for their 11th City title in 12 years.
Other defending champs still alive: Pico Rivera's El Rancho (Southern boys 4), Perris' Citrus Hill (Southern boys 6), Carpinteria's Cate (Southern boys 7), La Puente's Bishop Amat (Southern girls 3) and Chatsworth's Sierra Canyon (Southern girls 7).
Here's a full slate:
South Orange County's reputation as the epicenter of girls soccer has been burnished during these CIF Southern Section playoffs. All four schools in the Division 1 semifinals are south of Irvine.
Santa Margarita Catholic (16-5-2) upset top-seeded Corona del Mar of Newport Beach in Friday's quarterfinals, and Nos. 2-4 seeds San Clemente (17-2-7), Dana Hills (16-5-1) and Aliso Niguel (18-1-4) joined the Eagles in the final four.
Add St. Margaret's (16-4-5) of San Juan Capistrano, which reached the Division 6 semifinals, and that's five South County teams playing Tuesday for title-game berths next weekend.
Santa Margarita, from Rancho Santa Margarita, beat Corona del Mar, 1-0, when Taylor Klawunder volleyed home a cross from her twin sister, Kaitlin, in the 74th minute.
San Clemente, aiming for a fifth straight trip to the final, overcame Harvard-Westlake of Studio City on penalties after a 0-0 draw. Freshman Amanda Gerrain delivered the knockout blow on the sixth round of kicks.
Breanne Chilton-Eddy scored twice to lead Aliso Niguel, from Aliso Viejo, in a 3-0 romp over Santa Ana's Mater Dei. Dana Hills, from Dana Point, was a 2-0 winner over Orange Lutheran.
Seven of the eight Division 1 quarterfinalists (and 11 of 16 second-round teams) were from Orange County.
It's a similar story, but different geography, in Division 3. Three of the four semifinalists -- third-seeded Claremont (25-1-4), St. Lucy's Priory (18-8-2) of Glendora and Chino Hills (17-4-6) -- are from the Sierra League. A fourth Sierra team, Ayala of Chino Hills, was five minutes from joining them.
The Sierra League is 11-1-1 in the tournament, the lone loss Ayala's on Friday against defending champion Bishop Amat (21-4-4) of La Puente. Amat scored three times in the final six minutes, with Jamie Peters netting the winner, to pull out a 4-3 victory.