Los Angeles Soccer: Jeff Quijano
FC Santa Clarita let a two-goal lead disappear and settled for a draw at FC Hasental. The San Diego Flash scored four times in the first half to batter the ailing Fullerton Rangers.
It was enough for an exchange at the top of the standings in the National Premier Soccer League West Division's Southern Conference, with preseason favorite San Diego (3-0-1) back in first following a 4-1 romp last weekend over the Rangers.
Lodule LoSarah scored twice after assisting Adrian Dubois' third-minutes opener for the Flash. The Rangers (2-2-0), who are third, have lost back-to-back games since losing four starters to injury: Julio Madrigal (Inglewood/Inglewood HS and L.A. Harbor College/Cal State Dominguez Hills), Diego Turoldo (Torrance/North Torrance HS and Cal State Dominguez Hills), Leobardo Alvarez and Thomas Culver (Vanguard University).
Santa Clarita (2-0-2) settled for a 2-2 draw with Hasental after taking a two-goal lead midway through the second half as Matt Shaxton tallied and assisted Tyler Coombes (Palmdale/Palmdale HS and Cal State L.A.) for his division-best seventh goal. The Conejos rallied after Alex Harlley (Rosamond/Rosamond HS) was red-carded, Armando “Chiva” Gaitain (Sylmar/Sylmar HS) scoring on a free kick in the 77th minute and Jeff Quijano (Canoga Park/Canoga Park HS) adding the tying goal in the 89th.
Elsewhere in minor-league soccer:
SANTA BARBARA -- This wasn't quite the senior season Jeff Quijano envisioned, but he was going to deal with the circumstances the best way he could: by being a leader.
Quijano's response to losing his starting job turned out to be one of critical elements that prodded the University of Michigan to its first NCAA College Cup, but the Wolverines' path to this weekend's men's soccer final four at UC Santa Barbara would require greater contributions from the former Canoga Park High School standout -- when it mattered most.
Michigan (17-4-3), the No. 10 seed, takes on second-ranked Akron (20-1-2) in Friday night's second semifinal at UCSB's Harder Stadium (ESPN2/ESPNU, 8 p.m. PT) and Quijano figures to make an impact. Just like last week.
The veteran right back, at his best when attacking up the flank, gave perhaps his finest collegiate performance in the Wolverines' quarterfinal shocker over second-seeded Maryland, surging forward to score the first goal and sending in the cross for the second in a 3-2 overtime triumph.
“The performances of Jeff Quijano are one of the main reasons we are in the College Cup,” said Michigan coach Steve Burns, who started the program 11 seasons ago. “That's a huge statement, but he deserves that kind of praise for how well he's played. … [Against Maryland] there were times when he just took over the game and was clearly our Man of the Match. Now he gets to lead us once more, and it's fantastic for Jeff that he's back home in California for his final games as a Wolverine.”