Los Angeles Preps: Nate Merchant

Soccer: Oaks makes it two in a row

March, 10, 2012
Oaks Christian School did something Friday evening no girls high school soccer team had done before: captured a second straight Southern California Regional title.

The Lions (23-5-1), from Westlake Village, picked up goals by Jessica Burns in the 74th minute and Kaycee Buckley in the 75th to take down Marymount (21-5-4) for the second time in a week, posting a 2-0 victory in the girls Division III final at Warren High School in Downey.

Buckley's goal was her 32nd of the season.

Oaks Christian gave the CIF-Southern Section its fourth straight title in the Division and became the second team to win back-to-back regional titles, the closest thing to a state championship in California prep soccer. Salesian, from Los Angeles, won Division III boys titles in 2008, 2010 and 2011.

Oaks waited until the end to break a scoreless draw with Marymount, from Bel-Air. The Lions last weekend scored twice in the first 12 minutes -- both by Bianca Deardorff from Buckley assists -- to beat the Sailors, 2-1, in the Southern Section Division 4 final.

In Friday's other final:

Crossroads 2, McFarland 0: The surprising Roadrunners (18-7-3) completed a magical postseason by winning the boys Division III title over the Central Section power located about 25 miles north of Bakersfield.

Nick Santhiago set up both goals for Crossroads, from Santa Monica, delivering corner kicks headed by Willy Gansa and Nate Merchant. Both were cleared off the goal line, but the referee ruled each time the ball had crossed into the net.

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Los Osos girls soccer rises -- to No. 1?

March, 4, 2012
Tamia Hasan scored 10 minutes into the second half, and Los Osos High School held off a late Sunny Hills charge to win the CIF Southern Section Division 2 championship Saturday night at Mission Viejo High School.

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.

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