San Bernardino Valley and Cerritos colleges gave dominant performances Friday night, but only one of them is headed to the state junior college women's title game.
Araceli Sanchez set up a first-half goal, then delivered a death blow with 15 minutes to go as SBVC (19-1-3) reached its first state final with a 2-0 triumph over Fresno City College (19-3-2) at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita.
Cerritos (21-2-2) applied heavy pressure throughout the second half but couldn't find the net, falling, 1-0, to Santa Rosa (18-0-5), Northern California's No. 1 team.
VALLEY ROMPS: Sanchez (Moreno Valley/Moreno Valley HS) set up Kayla Kellstrom (Redlands/Arrowhead Christian HS) in the 14th minute and scored on a breakaway -- her 15th goal of the season -- in the 76th to lead San Bernardino Valley.
“She had a fabulous game. It's nice,” Wolverines coach Kristin Hauge said. “She's been a little under the weather and is coming back from a quad injury, and she was able to push through everything and play her style.”
Her blend of speed and skill tortured Fresno's defense as SBVC rolled up a 20-6 advantage in shots, and she put away the Rams with her strike on a breakaway that followed two big stops by goalkeeper Bianca Contreras (Moreno Valley/Canyon Springs HS).
“That's gotta be tough [for Fresno],” Hauge said. “To have such a great opportunity, and then we come up big and counter like that. I think that might have been it.”
CERRITOS FALLS: Cerritos, from Norwalk, was seeking its third state title in four years. One perfectly executed corner kick and indecision in front of the net stopped them short.
Katie Deneau headed home Cara Curtin's corner in the 16th minute for Santa Rosa, which managed just four shots -- the Falcons had 17 -- and spent most of the game bunkered in the back.
Cerritos struggled to get a clear shot on target, too often taking too many touches or making one pass too many.
“I don't think we played one of our better games, and I still thought we were the better team, minus the goal,” Cerritos coach Ruben Gonzalez said. “There were times we should have shot, and we tried to pass it -- we were close enough to take shots. We talked about that before the game and even at halftime; we just couldn't get anything going.”
HALL-OF-FAMER: Long Beach State women's coach Mauricio Ingrassia (Los Alamitos/Los Alamitos HS and Cal State Fullerton), who won five state titles in charge of Long Beach City College's women's team, was inducted Friday night into the California Community College Athletic Association's Hall of Fame.