Los Angeles Soccer: Fabiola da Silva
UCLA's Chandler Hoffman scored goals by the bunches on a quest to go home. Nadia Link netted nearly as many to take Long Beach State to unprecedented heights. Christian Ramirez dazzled for Concordia. And Fabiola da Silva prodded Cal Baptist to a national championship.
They're ESPN Los Angeles College Players of the Year after superb fall campaigns on local fields.
We selected men's and women's teams, one for players from 10 local NCAA Division I institutions and another for players from 24 NCAA Divisions II and III, NAIA and unaffiliated schools.
Our coaches of the year in Division I are Junior Gonzalez, who led the remarkable turnaround by UC Riverside's men, and Tim Ward, whose Pepperdine women were a top-five team during the regular season. In the lower divisions, it's Ralph Perez, who took Redlands' men to 20 wins and NCAA Division III third-round berth, and Kristen St. Clair, who presided over a superb transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II, with the Pacific West Conference title and National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association Division I national crown.
The freshmen of the year: Cal State Northridge's Edwin Rivas and UCLA's Abby Dahlkemper in D1, Cal Baptist's Michael Salazar and Cal Lutheran's Taylor Will in D2/D3/NAIA.
Here are our inaugural postseason all-star teams:
UCLA is headed to its 13th NCAA College Cup after Reed Williams' goal in overtime paid back Louisville for last year's quarterfinal thriller.
Williams (Newport Beach/Corona del Mar HS) scored 91 seconds into the second extra period to send the fourth-ranked (but 13th-seeded) Bruins (18-4-1) to next weekend's final four in Hoover, Ala., just outside Birmingham.
They'll face top-seeded North Carolina (20-2-2), a 2-0 winner over St. Mary's (11-7-5), in the semifinals. The other game will pair Sunday's winners, with third-seeded Connecticut (19-3-2) or Charlotte (16-4-2) facing second-seeded Creighton (20-2-0) or seventh-seeded South Florida (13-3-4). The game at Creighton was postponed by snow Saturday.
Williams fired from the top of the box through a thicket of defenders and inside the left post after Patrick Matchett (Laguna Niguel/Dana Hills HS) made a run from midfield, then played a give and go with Ryan Hollingshead on the right flank.
It led to a wild celebration for the Bruins, who watched two two-goal leads slip away and lost, 5-4, to Louisville in the closing seconds of last year's quarterfinal, which was played in a snowstorm.
This time, the conditions were mild -- low 50s drifting into the high 40s -- and UCLA did a superb job of absorbing pressure, pushing forward when the opportunity arrived, then forcing the issue once overtime arrived.
Louisville (14-7-2), which lost to Akron in last year's title game, had the better of the play much of the game but struggled to find chances when i got to the Bruins' box. All-American Chris Rolfe had several opportunities, but he fired high with an open shot in the 16th minute, poked the ball just wide of the right post while battling UCLA goalkeeper Brian Rowe in the 48th, then forced Rowe to parry a blast in the 85th.
That was all Rowe needed to tie a school record with his eighth straight shutout, extending his goal-less streak to 747 minutes, 40 seconds.
UCLA nearly tallied several times. A Fernando Monge header from a long throw-in by Joe Sofia (Dove Canyon/Mission Viejo HS) forced an early save from Cardinals goalkeeper Andre Boudreaux, who also made big stops on Eder Arreola (Chino Hills/Chino Hills HS) in the 75th minute and, with a diving save, on Williams' header just a minute before the goal.
In other men's action:
- Michael Salazar (Moreno Valley/Canyon Springs HS) scored twice, with the winner in the 81st minute, to lead Cal Baptist (17-5-1) past Geneva (Pa.), 2-1, in the National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association title game in Kissimmee, Fla. Salazar's 18th minute goal was answered by Jake McCracken's header eight minutes into the second half, and he netted the winner from a feed from Alex Anderson (Palmdale/Palmdale HS).
In women's action:Bernadette Witz (Temecula/Temecula Valley HS) scored just before halftime and again midway through the second half as Cal Baptist (18-2-1) rallied from an early deficit to beat Trinity International (Ill.), 2-1, and win the NCCAA championship in Kissimmee, Fla. The Lancers outshot TIU, 22-2, and took 14 corner kicks to none for their foe, but they were behind after Kelly Streekstra's long-distance drive in the 17th minute. Witz scored from a feed by Channing Perea (Riverside/Riverside Poly HS)'s feed to tie the score and from tournament MVP Fabiola da Silva's pass to net the winner.
The Riverside school's men's and women's soccer teams on Thursday advanced to title games at the National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association championships in Kissimmee, Fla.
The Lancers' women (17-2-1) routed Mt. Vernon (Ohio) Nazarene, 6-0, and will face Trinity International (10-9-3), from Deerfield, Ill., in Friday's final. The men (16-5-1) advanced on penalties after a scoreless draw with Cedarville (Iowa) and meet Geneva (16-5-3), from Beaver Falls, Pa., in its championship game.
Kylee Nicassio (Alta Loma/Los Osos HS), Fabiola da Silva and Amanda Lammers (Menifee/Calvary Murrieta HS) scored two goals apiece for the women, who turned a 1-0 halftime lead into a romp with five goals in a 20-minute span early in the second half. Nicassio tied and broke the school career goals record with her 48th and 49th.
The men advanced on penalties, 2-1, after a tight battle with Cedarville.
Sun scored twice in the first 20 minutes as the second-seeded Cougars (15-2-2) romped to a 4-0 quarterfinal victory over Mobile, Ala. (19-4-1) in Decatur, Ala., to set up a rematch with three-time defending champion Lee (21-2-0).
“We looked strong from start to finish,” APU coach Jason Surrell told his school's athletics website. “Conditions were better today and had good team defending again. We were solid and helped when we needed to.”
Sun also assisted a Heidi Witschi goal, and Molly Lavin also tallied for APU, which held a 13-0 shot advantage over Mobile's high-powered attack, which came in averaging 2.91 goals per game.
“We had a game plan going in. We knew their forwards were really good in the air, so we just kept that in mind and worked together as a team,” sophomore defender Danielle Ross said. “Our goal every game is to get a shutout and give up as few shots on goal as possible.”
Third-seeded Lee, from Cleveland, Tenn., advanced to the final four with a 2-0 win over Embry-Riddle, Fla. The Flames beat Azusa Pacific, 1-0, in last year's semifinals, but the Cougars won a rematch, 2-1, in Portland, Ore., in late August.
Kevin Schulte's second goal of the night sunk No. 7 UC Irvine, lifting UC Davis to a 2-1 overtime triumph and into a share of the Big West Conference lead in men's soccer.
Schulte (Riverside/M.L. King HS) tallied from a give-and-go with John Joslin (Santa Ana/Foothill HS) 8½ minutes into the extra period as the Aggies (6-6-2) pulled off the upset Wednesday night at Anteater Stadium.
Lester Hayes III gave UCI (12-4-0) a 28th-minute lead, but Schulte pulled UC Davis even in the 60th.
The Anteaters, at 4-2, dropped into a tie with UC Davis, three points ahead of Cal Poly and Cal State Northridge, which also were beaten Wednesday.
In other men's action:
- Hayden Leslie (Apple Valley/Apple Valley Christian) scored in the 88th minute and Ivan Garcia (Corona/Santiago HS) with just 19 seconds remaining in regulation to lead UC Riverside (7-5-2) to a 2-1 triumph over Cal State Northridge (6-7-1). The Highlanders ended a four-game winless skid by keeping CSUN from a share of the Big West lead.
- Jameson Campbell (Diamond Bar/Diamond Bar HS) tallied in the seventh minute, and Cal State Fullerton (7-4-3) ended a five-game winless streak, claiming its first Big West win with a 1-0 triumph over Cal Poly. The Mustangs, at 3-3, are three points off the Big West lead.
- Osvaldo Bastida (Anaheim/Katella HS) scored a hat trick, Michael Salazar (Moreno Valley/Canyon Springs HS) added two goals and both contributed an assist as Cal Baptist (10-4-0) romped to a 6-0 Pacific West Conference victory at BYU Hawaii.
UC Irvine's finest season in women's soccer came to a half Saturday night with an overtime loss to Washington in the NCAA Division I quarterfinals.
The Anteaters (19-3-2), the second Big West Conference team ever to reach the Sweet 16, struggled to create in a 1-0 defeat on their home field.
Freshman Allie Beahan scored the goal in the 103rd minute, beating UCI goalkeeper Daniele de Seriere from a Sarah Martinez feed. De Seriere (Cerritos/Mayfair HS) made nine saves.
The Anteaters were limited to seven shots, just two on frame, by a Washington defense that shut down high-powered Portland in the second round.