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Hart girls soccer moves on in playoffs

Posted: March 1, 2014 10:56 p.m.
Updated: March 1, 2014 10:56 p.m.
 

Hart girls soccer had yet to advance to penalty kicks this season.

But the Indians knew exactly who would take the five most important kicks of the season when Hart and CIF-Southern Section Division II No. 1-seed Sunny Hills remained tied after 100 minutes of play in their quarterfinal match on Saturday afternoon at Valencia High of Placentia.

And still tied heading into the fifth kick, sophomore Sarah Lindborg sent one past the keeper to send Hart to its first semifinal since 2007 with a 0-0 (5-4 PKs) victory.

“We practiced those PKs,” said Hart head coach Guilherme Mitrovich. “We knew the first five for sure and the order. It worked ... the first five were defined weeks ago.”

The first four, Sophie Cortes, Destinney Duron, Laura Sega and Danielle Spickard, all came through, keeping the penalty kicks deadlocked until Sunny Hills’ last shooter hit the post to set up Lindborg’s heroics.

“It showed a lot of character,” Mitrovich said. “Sega had a pretty long last 10 minutes. Her nose was bleeding right before PKs started. Destinney was cramping up with five to 10 minutes before OT was over. Those girls just hung in there and they were ready to take the PKs when we needed them.”

Just to get to penalty kicks, though, meant Hart (17-5-4) had to hold off a Sunny Hills team that came into the day 27-0-2 and ranked No. 1 in the division.

But the defense stepped up Saturday, with freshman goalkeeper Nicole Davis pitching the shutout.

“It’s been pretty stressful (this season) but they’ve helped me,” Davis said of her teammates. “We work together well and it’s gone pretty well. (Sunny Hills) had a couple chances. It was pretty stressful but our defense handled it well.”

With the victory, the Indians will now host No. 4-ranked West Torrance at Hart High School on Tuesday, their first semifinal appearance since losing 1-0 to Redlands East Valley on Feb. 27, 2007.

“It feels amazing,” said four-year varsity player Kelsey Stokes, who has played under three different head coaches. “All of our hard work the past four years paid off finally. It’s an unbelievable feeling. We’ve gone through so many different coaches and players and we’re ready for the next game.”

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