Los Angeles Preps: Chino Hills High School
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.