Los Angeles Preps: Bishop Amat High School
The Pirates (25-4-3) ended Crescenta Valley's quest for an unbeaten season, holding on for a 2-1 victory in the Division I final Saturday night at Warren High School in Downey.
Jesus Alvarez headed home a Jose Ochoa corner kick in the 30th minute, and Miguel Rueda knocked in a loose ball after a long Ochoa throw-in in the 37th to give Paramount a two-goal advantage by halftime.
Paramount won its third straight CIF Southern Section title last week, beating Oxnard's Channel Islands in the Division 3 final at Warren. Crescenta Valley (22-1-7), from La Crescenta, captured the Division 4 championship.
The Falcons struggled to break down Paramount's defense, which used Alvarez and Tommy Osorio to smother star UC Irvine-bound forward Pavle Atanackovic, who came into the game with 38 goals.
“Our game plan was first of all to stop the middle,” Paramount co-coach Rafa Villasenor told the Glendale News Press. “If [Atanackovic] doesn't receive any balls, he pretty much is invisible in the game, and that's what we pretty much did.”
Salar Hajimirsadeghi's free kick with seven minutes to play halved the deficit, and Paramount weathered a late Crescenta Valley charge to prevail.
In other games:
Santa Margarita Catholic 2, Bishop Amat: Samantha Trenary scored in the 72nd minute, and the Eagles (18-5-4) pulled out the Division II girls title, making the Rancho Santa Margarita school the second to win Southern California Regional titles in boys and girls soccer.
A No. 1 national ranking might come with it.
Los Osos, from Rancho Cucamonga, came into the game at No. 2 in the ESPNHS Fab 50 national rankings, and the Grizzlies (23-0-3) figure to rise after its 1-0 triumph. No. 1 Westview, from San Diego, was beaten by Carlsbad's La Costa Canyon in the CIF San Diego Section's Division II title game.
No. 5 Aliso Niguel, from Aliso Viejo, also could vault to the front after beating No. 4 San Clemente -- the only team it had lost to this season -- in Friday night's Southern Section Division 1 final. Carroll, from Southlake, Texas, is No. 3 in ESPN's winter rankings.
Los Osos was officially the underdog, seeded second, behind Fullerton's Sunny Hills (30-1-0), but they took charge after halftime as forward Ifeoma Onumonu sent in the ball for Hasan to finish.
“I haven't stopped crying yet,” Los Osos coach Mychal Armstrong told the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. “These girls are such a great group. They deserve this.”
In other Southern Section finals Saturday:
Claremont 2, Bishop Amat 0: Goalkeeper Amanda Garvin made three spectacular saves and the Wolfpack (27-1-4) extended their shutout streak to seven games while winning the girls Division 3 championship, played, like all of the Southern Section girls finals, at Mission Viejo. Defender Taylor Fortson nodded home a corner kick in the 28th minute and Merin Arft tallied at the start of the second half to send Claremont past defending champion Bishop Amat (22-5-4), from La Puente.
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.