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Hart girls soccer's dream season continues

Prep soccer: Hart girls move on to play for a Division II championship

Posted: March 4, 2014 11:04 p.m.
Updated: March 4, 2014 11:04 p.m.

Hart's Jenny Chavez, center, celebrates with teammates Destinney Duron (14) and Sarah Lindborg after she scored the only goal in the CIF-Southern Section Division II semifinals on Tuesday at Hart High School.

Jenny Chavez may have missed the past eight games due to a serious ankle sprain, but it only took her one game back to etch herself into Hart girls soccer lore.

Chavez took advantage of a misplay among West Torrance defenders early in the second half of Tuesday’s CIF-Southern Section Division II semifinal, tapped the ball around the keeper, and sent the ball flying into the back of the net to propel Hart to a 1-0 victory and their first championship game appearance since 1999.

“I was practicing and playing and my ankle was feeling better by quarterfinals,” Chavez said. “But either way, if I was good or not I wasn’t going to miss this semifinal game.”

The Indians will now face Chino Hills in a championship game to be played Saturday at Corona High School at 2:30 p.m.

On Tuesday, Hart (18-5-4) and West (23-5-2) played a physical game that helped the Indians take the Warriors out of their traditional possession-style game.

“Both teams played hard,” said West head coach Jim San-Martin. “I think we got a little bit outworked today. Hart wanted it more and you could see it.”

Chavez made an immediate impact upon returning to the field with 16 minutes remaining in the first half, nearly scoring on a deep throw in by Destinney Duron.

Duron, for her part, put consistent pressure on the West backline, and nearly put Hart up 2-0 when her shot one-on-one with the keeper midway through the second half went wide to the right of the net.

“Just happiness,” Duron said of her feeling after the victory. “Shock. I knew we would definitely get it but like (teammate) Sophie Cortes said, it’s just a dream.”

The Indians came out of the gate slowly, as both teams struggled to connect in the game’s early minutes.

But as time continued, especially into the second half, Hart began to assert itself against a West team that entered the postseason as the No. 4 ranked team in the division.

“I knew I had a very talented group with good players once I got here,” said first-year head coach Guilherme Mitrovich. “I got excited when I got on board, but I didn’t think we would go this far — I was focused on league.”

The Indians secured the Foothill League title this season, winning their final four games of the regular season to jump from third to first.

That winning streak now sits at eight, with a ninth sitting between Hart and its first CIF-SS championship since splitting the title with Woodbridge High in 1999.

“It’s surreal,” Cortes said. “It’s like I don’t know how to explain what’s happening. We’re going to the CIF final game.”


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