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‘Perfect storm’ helps SCCS soccer to first quarterfinal

Young talent and veteran presence allows Cardinals to advance further than ever in postseason

Posted: February 26, 2014 10:50 p.m.
Updated: February 26, 2014 10:50 p.m.
 

This year, Santa Clarita Christian girls soccer has put together the ideal formula.

There are the calm, veteran seniors holding together the defensive backline and the talented sophomores and juniors getting the job done on offense.

All that can help explain how the SCCS Cardinals beat the previously undefeated Vistamar Vikings of El Segundo 2-1 on Wednesday in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division VII playoffs in Manhattan Beach.

“It’s been a perfect storm,” said SCCS head coach Matt Gale, whose team will now play in its first CIF quarterfinal in school history.

With the win, the Cardinals remain undefeated at 17-0-4, though the team’s streak of 14 straight shutouts came to an end.

Junior Lauren Gallagher scored both goals for SCCS to push her season total up to a phenomenal 45 goals.

She scored the first one in the 17th minute to give her team a short-lived 1-0 lead.

Vistamar (13-1-0) quickly answered back with an equalizer, which sent the game into a 1-1 tie at halftime.

From there, it was the strong group of seniors that held things together on the back end, including Desirae Dodson, Elissa Phillipps and Susannah Gwinn.

“We had a really good halftime talk and the defense played fantastic in the second half,” Gale said.

There were also players like midfielder/defender Maya Rauch and midfielder Shelby Boswell who stepped into different roles nicely while filling in for injured teammates.

With eight minutes to go Gallagher floated in the game-winner from about 30 yards out from the right corner.

In the quarterfinals, SCCS will play on Saturday night against Tarbut V’Torah of Irvine. It will be a home game for the Cardinals, but the site has yet to be determined.

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