Los Angeles Soccer: Annenberg School

PREPS: ECR’s quest stopped short

February, 24, 2012

El Camino Real High School's bid to honor fallen goalkeeper Francisco “Pancho” Rodriguez fell two games shy of the mark. The second-seeded Conquistadores were upset Thursday by Narbonne in the CIF Los Angeles City Section boys soccer playoffs.

Alfonso Moreno's 71st-minute goal lifted Gardena's Narbonne (16-6-4), which will play at third-seeded San Fernando (20-2-3) in Tuesday's semifinals, a rematch of the 2010 title game won by the team from the San Fernando Valley. The seventh-seeded Gauchos, who beat ECR in last year's playoffs, have won nine successive games.

El Camino Real (20-5-4), from Woodland Hills, has been on a mission since Rodriguez, the starting goalkeeper, was shot to death Jan. 11 outside his home after a West Valley League victory over Taft of Woodland Hills. The Conquistadores rallied to tie the score on Lucas Ladek's goal before halftime, and Moreno finished from Byron Rivera's pass to lift the South Bay school.

ECR walked off the field in disappointment. “We really wanted that ring,” senior midfielder Danny Cruz told the Los Angeles Daily News. “We wanted to get it for Pancho.”

San Fernando extended its unbeaten streak to 12 games, beating Jefferson on penalties after a scoreless draw. The other semifinal will pit top-seeded Bell, a 1-0 winner over Palisades, against Fremont, which routed Belmont, 3-0.

SEEING RED: Foshay Learning Center on Thursday upset Annenberg, eliminating the top-seeded team in Small Schools division to advance to next week's semifinals.

The result was reversed, and Annenberg reinistated, on Friday morning. The reason: a red card.

Foshay head coach Bartolomo Perez was ejected during the quarterfinal match, and that's a real no-no in the City Section.

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PREPS: L.A. City Section soccer finals

March, 6, 2011

El Camino Real High School's 10th CIF L.A. City Section girls soccer title required something extraordinary. Jackie Altschuld provided it.

The sophomore forward scored a spectacular goal 27 minutes into overtime Saturday night at Contreras Learning Center in Los Angeles to lift the top-seeded Conquistadores (20-2-3) past Palisades, 1-0, and into double digits.

ECR, from Woodland Hills, becomes the seventh team in state history to win at least 10 sectional titles and the second in the L.A. City Section. Chatsworth has won 11, but the Conquistadores' trophies have been won in 11 seasons.

Altschuld lifted the ball over a defender's head, raced past her to collect and fired into the upper-left corner with just three minutes to go before a penalty-kick shootout. ECR is unbeaten in its past 30 games against City Section opposition and is 48-1 in City playoff games since losing in the 2000 semifinals.

Dylann O'Connor nearly decided the match twice, but she hit the right post in the 69th minute and Pali goalkeeper Kiki Bailey made a superb save on her header three minutes before Altschuld struck.

Palisades, from Pacific Palisades, finished 24-1-0.

All L.A. City Section finals Friday and Saturday were played at Contreras.

In other championship games:

South East (South Gate) 0, Banning (Wilmington) 0, OT
(South East wins on penalties, 4-3)

Goalkeeper Juan Escobar was the hero, making two saves in the penalty-kick shootout to give the second-seeded Jaguars (20-2-11) their first boys soccer title. Escobar made a diving save on Alejandro Diaz on the fourth round of kicks to give South East command, then stopped Brian Gonzalez on Banning's next attempt to start the celebration. Escobar also made big saves on Joseph Jimenez and Peter Velazquez in the first 10 minutes and halted Jose Monroy one-on-one in the dying moments of regulation.

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