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Prep soccer: SCCS runs out of road

Cards ousted by Rim of the World

Posted: February 23, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: February 23, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

NORTH HILLS — Santa Clarita Christian girls soccer was in uncharted territory.

Since the program’s formation in 2002, it had never appeared in a second-round CIF playoff game.

The team had also never won a Heritage League title before this year, a feat it accomplished two weeks ago.

But in a season of many firsts, the Cardinals played their last game of the season Tuesday, a 3-1 loss to Rim of the World of Lake Arrowhead at Los Angeles Baptist High School.

The loss eliminated SCCS from the CIF-Southern Section Division VII playoffs and ended the high school careers of four seniors.

“We had big shoes to fill when we lost a lot of key players, and it was just exciting to see us step up and fill in the way we did,” said Cardinals senior Olivia Gwinn.

Though Gwinn was referring to players lost to graduation last year, SCCS (13-8-1) also had to fill in gaps from injuries to this year’s team.

Most notably Joanna Masopust, a senior midfielder and the team’s co-leading scorer, who injured her knee during Thursday’s playoff victory over Frazier Mountain.

Without her, the Cardinals were forced to switch their formation to a more defensive-minded look in an attempt to limit the talented Rim team, which was the division’s No. 2-ranked team in the final CIF poll.

For most of the first half, the formation switch paid off as SCCS continuously cut off crosses and shot attempts by the Fighting Scots (15-7-4) in the 18-yard box.

Though SCCS didn’t control the ball much in the game, it did take advantage of one of the few opportunities in the 23rd minute to take a 1-0 lead.

Sophomore Colette Blake fought off a Rim defender to get to the ball from 30 yards out, gained her balance and floated a ball high in the air and into the upper-left portion of the net.

The goal was her 13th of the season, tying her for most on the team.

Less than a minute later, the lead vanished when Scots forward Kalene Needham launched the ball into the back of the net off a quick pass from teammate Allyn Brown.

That score was 1-1 at halftime.

The second half was all Rim of the World, beginning with a Maddy Horan goal over SCCS goalkeeper Natalie Keoshian’s head in the opening two minutes.

Once the Scots got the 2-1 lead, they used their size and passing ability to keep possession of the ball.

“We knew they were going to sit in,” said Rim head coach Brian Cavazos. “That’s what most teams do against us, so we wanted to just wear them down.”

SCCS didn’t have a single shot on goal or corner kick after the break. Rim outshot the Cardinals 10-2 in the game.

“They were moving the ball around,” Gale said of the Scots. “All of them were extremely skilled and confident with the ball.”

Eventually, all the pressure led to an insurance goal for Rim when Brown bumped the ball off her chest and into the right corner.

With eight minutes remaining, that was the backbreaker for SCCS.

It was a historic run this season for the Cardinals and the seniors Masopust, Gwinn, Keoshian and Katy Durbin, but with promising young talent, Gale sees this as a preview of things to come.

“I think this is the beginning of something,” he said.

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