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Prep girls soccer: Cardinals’ conclusion

Five key seniors see their SCCS careers end after a playoff loss

Posted: February 19, 2013 10:09 p.m.
Updated: February 19, 2013 10:09 p.m.

Santa Clarita Christian's Tiffany Shroyer (22) passes the ball toward the goal against Montebello High defender Marisa Arvizu (6) at College of the Canyons on Tuesday. SCCS lost the CIF-Southern Section Division VII playoff game 1-0.

 

The core group of seniors on the Santa Clarita Christian Cardinals girls soccer players experienced a lot through the years.

But after the five of them spent four years watching the program build up from relative obscurity to a perennial playoff team, it all came to a conclusion on Tuesday in a 1-0 loss to the Montebello High Oilers at College of the Canyons.

The loss eliminated SCCS (13-3-3) in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division VII playoffs.

“This ending isn’t just about soccer,” said Madison Utley, one of the fourth-year seniors to see her SCCS career end on Tuesday. “It’s the end of the day today. This team is like a family.”

Utley, along with seniors Colette Blake, Megan Gallagher, Allie Haberstad and Christina Keoshian all played four years for the Cardinals. During that time, SCCS won its first league title in the Heritage League two years ago and it won its first playoff game in school history the same season.

“It’s been special,” Haberstad said. “It’s not like soccer at every other school. You don’t usually get to start your freshman year and be with the same group of girls all four years.”

This year, the Cardinals again won their league, this time the Omega League, and they had another playoff victory on Thursday against Rolling Hills Prep.

But despite plenty of chances to take the upper hand in Tuesday’s game, it wasn’t SCCS’s day.

Montebello (15-6-4) scored the game-winner in the 68th minute when Jenny Tinoco nailed a free kick from 30 yards out that floated into the upper corner of the goal just inside the far post.

It was one of just three shots on goal for the Almont League champion Oilers.

“The game could have gone either way,” said Montebello head coach Jose De Leon. “We talked about it at halftime. It would be who would want it more, and I think we did that.”

Though SCCS got the ball in position to score numerous times in the second half, Montebello’s disciplined defense continued to clear out the ball.

“I thought we had the momentum there at the end. ... We were a whisker away,” said SCCS head coach Matt Gale.

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