Los Angeles Soccer: Madison Stark
San Clemente High School makes its fifth successive CIF Southern Section Division I girls soccer title-game appearance this weekend, and the Tritons will have to go through a familiar foe if they're to win their sixth title in 11 years.
South Coast League rival Aliso Niguel (18-1-5) will look for its second victory this season over San Clemente (18-2-7) in Friday's championship match at Mission Viejo High School. The teams have played three times already, each winning once along with a scoreless draw.
San Clemente advanced with a 2-0 semifinal victory Tuesday over Dana Hills (16-6-1), from Dana Point. Danielle Mellem provided a sixth minute lead for the Tritons, who are unbeaten in 17 games since a 3-1 loss Dec. 19 to Aliso in Mater Dei's tournament. Jamae Cousineau added an insurance goal with three minutes to go.
Aliso Niguel, from Aliso Viejo, beat Santa Margarita Catholic (16-5-3), from Rancho Santa Margarita, on penalties following a 1-1 draw in the other Division 1 semifinal. Lindsay Doyle gave the Wolverines a 15th-minute lead, and Santa Margarita pulled even with nine minutes remaining on Kassidy Gorman's goal.
Aliso had lost five times on penalties in semifinals.
In other CIF Southern Section girls semifinals:
Sunny Hills 2, Great Oak 1: Maribell Morales and Megan Villaescusa netted first-half goals, and the top-seeded Lancers (30-1-0), from Fullerton, edged Great Oak (15-6-4), from Temecula, in a Division 2 game.
Los Osos 4, Upland 0: The second-seeded Grizzlies (21-0-3), from Rancho Cucamonga, received goals from Ifeoma Onumonu, Chloe Watson and Victoria Pina in an eight-minute span of the second half to pull away to a Division 2 triumph over Upland (13-7-3). Los Osos, ranked No. 1 in the nation by MaxPreps, won all three meetings this season.
Bishop Amat 4, Chino Hills 1: April Juarez and Nayeli Requejo scored two goals apiece and the fourth-seeded Lancers (22-4-4), from La Puente, romped to a Division 3 victory over Chino Hills (17-5-6). Juarez, the division's reigning Player of the Year, won a penalty kick Requejo converted, and her goals have her 25 this season and 117 in her prep career.
South Orange County's reputation as the epicenter of girls soccer has been burnished during these CIF Southern Section playoffs. All four schools in the Division 1 semifinals are south of Irvine.
Santa Margarita Catholic (16-5-2) upset top-seeded Corona del Mar of Newport Beach in Friday's quarterfinals, and Nos. 2-4 seeds San Clemente (17-2-7), Dana Hills (16-5-1) and Aliso Niguel (18-1-4) joined the Eagles in the final four.
Add St. Margaret's (16-4-5) of San Juan Capistrano, which reached the Division 6 semifinals, and that's five South County teams playing Tuesday for title-game berths next weekend.
Santa Margarita, from Rancho Santa Margarita, beat Corona del Mar, 1-0, when Taylor Klawunder volleyed home a cross from her twin sister, Kaitlin, in the 74th minute.
San Clemente, aiming for a fifth straight trip to the final, overcame Harvard-Westlake of Studio City on penalties after a 0-0 draw. Freshman Amanda Gerrain delivered the knockout blow on the sixth round of kicks.
Breanne Chilton-Eddy scored twice to lead Aliso Niguel, from Aliso Viejo, in a 3-0 romp over Santa Ana's Mater Dei. Dana Hills, from Dana Point, was a 2-0 winner over Orange Lutheran.
Seven of the eight Division 1 quarterfinalists (and 11 of 16 second-round teams) were from Orange County.
It's a similar story, but different geography, in Division 3. Three of the four semifinalists -- third-seeded Claremont (25-1-4), St. Lucy's Priory (18-8-2) of Glendora and Chino Hills (17-4-6) -- are from the Sierra League. A fourth Sierra team, Ayala of Chino Hills, was five minutes from joining them.
The Sierra League is 11-1-1 in the tournament, the lone loss Ayala's on Friday against defending champion Bishop Amat (21-4-4) of La Puente. Amat scored three times in the final six minutes, with Jamie Peters netting the winner, to pull out a 4-3 victory.