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Two teams get playoff surprise

The expected get in the CIF-SS postseason and then some

Posted: February 17, 2009 1:13 a.m.
Updated: February 17, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Valencia's Alyssa Triana (2) and Kelsey Steck (19) battle for the soccer ball Feb. 3 at Hart High School. Both teams made the CIF-SS playoffs.

 
Breaking from usual form, the CIF-Southern Section granted at-large berths Monday to Foothill League teams in boys and girls soccer.

Both, Golden Valley's boys and Hart's girls received bids after finishing fourth this season in league.

"I was very happy to see that, only because these girls have worked so hard and truly deserve this opportunity because of their work ethic throughout the season," said Hart girls head coach Mike Gomez.

The Indians (13-9-2, 4-5-1) will hit the road for a 3 p.m. match today against El Dorado in the CIF-SS Division II wild card round.

The game will be the team's first time playing together since their season finale against Saugus on Thursday.

However, Gomez remained positive, noting that the team has now had time to heal.

Ravaged by injuries throughout the season, the only lingering ailment appears to be junior Brittani Reddick, who, according to Gomez, sustained a torn ligament in her ankle in the team's 1-0 loss to Canyon on Feb. 6.

On the boys side, Golden Valley makes it into the Division III bracket as a Foothill at-large after finishing fourth in league this season, and is set to play Lompoc on Wednesday in a wild card match.

"It's a miracle," said Golden Valley head coach Phil Lopez. "I'm on cloud nine, and I know my boys are."

The Grizzlies (8-7-5, 3-4-3) will try to avenge their 2-0 loss to the Braves (11-8-1, 7-4-0) back on Dec. 20 in the Cabrillo Tournament.

Lompoc finished third in the Los Padres League this season.

Should the Grizzlies advance, they will take on Orange League champion and the Division III bracket's No. 1 team, Anaheim, on Friday.

Golden Valley thought its season was over after Thursday's 1-0 loss to West Ranch, but received the good news Monday.

"We honestly thought we were dead at that point," Lopez said. "When I found out, I just died. I got goose bumps. What a great thing for our program."

West Ranch (9-7-6, 4-3-3), the Foothill League's No. 3 team, will join the Grizzlies in wild-card play when it hosts Cabrillo of Lompoc, also of the Los Padres League.

The Conquistadores (8-10-1, 6-4-0) finished just behind Lompoc this season.

If West Ranch wins, it will travel to Montclair on Friday.

Foothill League champion Canyon starts its run against Lynwood, which finished third in the San Gabriel Valley League, while Saugus travels to San Gabriel Valley League champion Paramount to round out the boys selections.

The Centurions could face Coachella Valley in the second round, Division III's No. 2 seed.

On the girls side, the top three Foothill League teams ended the season one point apart in the standings.

Co-league champions Canyon and Valencia will both be hosting their first round matches on Thursday.

The Cowboys (15-4-3, 7-1-2) will take on the winner of Montclair and Burroughs of Burbank.

"For us, it is not really a negative thing to not know who we are playing until the day before because we are practicing for the playoffs, not for a Montclair or a Burroughs," Canyon head coach Eric White said.

White said the team will try to "overcome some demons" when it tries to advance beyond the first round.

The Vikings (15-6-3, 7-1-2) return to the postseason after a one-year layoff when Arcadia comes to town.

The Apaches finished the season as the Pacific League's No. 2 team.

Saugus (15-3-3, 7-2-1) rounds out the Foothill League bids, traveling to Highland of Palmdale.

The Centurions' high-scoring attack led by junior Jamie Molacek's 17 goals and senior Erin Ortega's 16, will face off with the Golden League's No. 2 team.

The Bulldogs (13-3-7, 11-1-2) are led by senior striker Samantha Johnson and her 25 goals and nine assists.

In the Liberty league, Santa Clarita Christian's girls soccer team travels to Schurr of Montebello in the first round of the Division VI playoffs on Thursday.

The Cardinals (16-3-1, 7-2-1), led by Kayla Gale, who has 31 goals and 19 assists and Amanda Doty, with 23 goals and 15 assists, take on the Almont League's No. 1 team.

It was reported Monday that Valencia girls basketball will be playing Burroughs of Burbank in the first round of the CIF-SS Division IIAA playoffs. They will actually be hosting Pioneer Valley of Santa Maria.


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