Los Angeles Soccer: Elizabeth Eddy
The Fullerton Rangers took a huge stride toward the National Premier Soccer League playoffs with Sunday's victory over FC Santa Clarita, a showdown for second place in the Western Division's Southern Conference.
Former Chivas USA/New York Red Bulls forward David Arvizu (Santa Ana/Foothill HS) scored two goals as the Rangers avenged a loss two months earlier in Santa Clarita with a 3-0 triumph at Santa Ana Stadium.
The Rangers (7-3-2) have a two-point advantage over the Storm (6-3-3) with two games to play. Both have matches remaining with the San Diego Flash (9-0-2), which has clinched the Southern Conference title.
The Rangers' NPSL team finished second to the Flash and went to the playoffs last year, when they were affiliated with the Santa Ana Winds.
Arvizu scored in the 17th and 60th minutes and Cuban forward Eder Roldan tallied in the 24th for Fullerton, which has won three in a row and scored at least three times in its past four games. Santa Clarita has won just twice in its past five games, over the division's two worst clubs (Phoenix and North Coast, with a combined 2-18-1 record), and could rue a 1-1 draw at home June 9 with San Diego Boca (4-5-3).
Santa Clarita is likely to vault back to second next weekend, when it faces fading Conejo Valley side FC Hasental (3-7-2), but getting a resullt against the Flash on July 7 is critical to the Storm' playoff hopes. Fullerton plays the Flash in San Diego this weekend, then closes July 8 at home against Boca.
Elsewhere in minor-league soccer:
Natalia Ledezma netted a hat trick and UC Irvine took a huge step toward successive Big West Conference regular-season titles Sunday afternoon, romping to a 4-0 victory in a first-place showdown at Cal State Northridge.
Ledezma (La Mirada/La Mirada HS), a sophomore transfer from UCLA, followed a third-minute own goal with strikes in the 11th, 66th and 77th minutes as the Anteaters (12-3-2) improved to 5-1-1 in the Big West. Ledezma, who netted the first hat trick for UCI in 15 years, has 11 goals this season.
Northridge (6-8-2), a surprise contender for the conference title, fell to 4-2-1 in conference play. UC Davis (4-1-1) and Long Beach State (4-2) also are in the battle for the conference title.
Irvine and Northridge each have one conference match remaining.
In other women's action:
- Laura Cole (Whittier/La Habra HS) and Amanda LeCave scored first-half goals as No. 4 Pepperdine (13-0-4) extended its unbeaten streak to 18 games with a 2-1 West Coast Conference victory at St. Mary's. The Waves are 5-0 in WCC play and stand two points in front of Santa Clara, which it faces Friday in the Bay Area.
- Chelsea Stewart scored in the 28th minute and fed Jenna Richmond for a goal in the 35th, and No. 7 UCLA (12-1-2) toppled visiting Arizona State, 2-0, in a Pacific 12 Conference clash.
- Elizabeth Eddy scored on a 60th-minute breakaway as USC (6-11-0) claimed its third straight Pac-12 victory, beating visiting Arizona, 1-0.
Farran (San Pedro/San Pedro HS) fired home with 97 seconds remaining in regulation after Katie Russ (Canyon Country/Canyon HS) headed along a throw-in from Chloe McDaniel (Palmdale/Quartz Hill HS).
Long Beach State (10-4-1) had won six in a row and led the Big West with a 3-0 mark, but the loss drops the 49ers one point behind the Matadors (5-7-2) and UC Irvine, which are 3-1-1. Long Beach visits Irvine on Sunday.
Northridge has won three of its last four games.
In other women's action:
- Elizabeth Eddy (Newport Beach/Newport Harbor HS) tallied in the fifth minute, and USC ended an eight-game losing streak and claimed its first Pacific 12 Conference victory in a 1-0 encounter at Washington. The Women of Troy (4-11-0), who are 1-5 in the Pac-12, benefited from solid defense backed up by freshman goalkeeper Carley Pennington (Rancho Cucamonga/St. Lucy's Priory HS), who got the shutout in her college debut.
- No. 6 UCLA (10-1-3) dictated play and ran up a 29-8 advantage in shots but couldn't find the net, and the scoreless draw at Washington State extended the Bruins' winless streak to three games. The Cougars (10-4-2) moved ahead of UCLA in the Pac-12 standings at 4-1-1. The Bruins are 3-1-2.
UCLA doesn't look much like the title contender it might be destined to become -- not yet. The Bruins, ranked as high as fourth nationally, lost again Sunday, leaving them winless in three games.
Alex Henry's goal nearly 10 minutes into overtime carried UC Davis to a 2-1 home triumph, the Aggies' first victory over UCLA in program history.
“Our team executed our tactics perfectly today, and I knew that eventually we were going to get one on them,” UC Davis coach Dwayne Shaffer told his school's athletics website. “It's a huge win for our program, and it means a lot not only to our players, but to our entire athletics department.”
Chandler Hoffman scored from Kelyn Rowe's through ball in the 87th minute to give life to the Bruins, who were down to 10 men after Ryan Lee's red card four minutes earlier.
Goalkeeper Omar Zeenni (Arcadia/Crespi Carmelite HS) made eight saves for UC Davis (1-1-1).
UCLA (0-2-1) lost its opener at No. 1 Louisville and tied Santa Clara on Friday. The first home game is Friday night at Drake Stadium against St. Mary's.
In other men's action:
- Christian Hernandez (Palmdale/Palmdale HS) scored his third and fourth goals as No. 14 UC Irvine (4-0-0) topped visiting Drake, 2-1.
- David Opoku's 16th-minute goal gave No. 9 UC Santa Barbara (3-0-0) a Carolina sweep with a 1-0 victory at North Carolina State.
- Jake Dobkins and Omar Mata scored goals seven minutes apart to give Tulsa a 2-1 win over No. 25 Loyola Marymount (1-2-0).
- Nick Echeverry (Anaheim/Servite HS) scored just 19 seconds after kickoff, enough for Chapman (2-0-0) in a 1-0 win over Puget Sound.
- Cal Lutheran got its season off to a dream start -- Raul Yepez (Oxnard/Pacifica HS) scores twice in the first 29 minutes -- but Fontbonne, from St. Louis, rallied for a 3-2 victory.
- Matt Sykes' penalty kick in overtime carried Grand Canyon to a 2-1 win over Cal Poly Pomona (1-1-0).
THREE IN A ROW FOR USC: Courtney Garcia (Yorba Linda/Esperanza HS), just moments after coming off the bench, knocked home an overtime rebound, and USC (3-3-0) rallied for its third successive win, a 2-1 decision at Purdue.
Elizabeth Eddy (Newport Beach/Newport Harbor HS) scored an equalizer in the 63rd minute for USC, which beat No. 17 Illinois in Friday's opener at the Illini/Boilermaker Cup.
Pacific (1-2-0) halved the deficit with two minutes to go on Angelica Figueroa's penalty kick following a hand ball.
“We knew that we needed to get our confidence up -- we knew we needed to come out and get it done,” Kerridge, who leads USC with two goals and two assists, said on a video posted on her school's athletics website. “It wasn't the prettiest soccer, like we have been playing, but we got the job done, and that's all that matters.”
In other women's action:
- All-American Sydney Leroux's scoring streak hit three games as No. 15 UCLA (4-0-0) won Tennessee's tournament with a 2-0 triumph over eighth-ranked Florida. Leroux was the event's MVP, and freshmen Ally Courtnall (who also scored), Samantha Mewis and Abby Dahlkemper made the all-tournament team.
- Surprising UC Riverside (2-1-1) won its second in a row, surpassing last year's victory total with a 2-1 overtime triumph over visiting San Jose State. Kayde Hensley's 102nd-minute goal lifted the Highlanders to the title in their tournament.
- No. 13 UC Irvine (4-0-0) also won both of its games at UCR's event, finishing with a 2-0 triumph over Mississippi State as UCLA transfer Natalia Ledezma (La Mirada/La Mirada HS) netted her third goal.
- Karissa Garcia's goal in the sixth minute led Pepperdine (4-0-0) past visiting Long Island, 1-0.
- The Waves' West Coast Conference rival Loyola Marymount also is unbeaten, 3-0-1 after a 0-0 draw with Fresno State.
- Nadia Link (Rowland Heights/Walnut HS) scored her second goal of the weekend, but Long Beach State (2-2-0) lost, 2-1, at No. 12 Marquette.