Boys Soccer: La Caada comes up short in overtime; Pasadena Poly keeper Matt Morrish makes key stops, leads Panthers to win on PK’s; Maranatha’s dream season comes to an end, loses to Oak Hills, 3-0.

CLICK HERE FOR A PHOTO GALLERY OF THURSDAY’S SALESIAN-LA CANADA BOYS SOCCER GAME SHOT BY STAR-NEWS ACE PHOTOGRAPHER KEITH BIRMINGHAM

CIF-SS PLAYOFFS
TODAY’S GAMES, 3 P.M.
QUARTERFINALS
DIVISION 5

Salesian 1, La Caada 0, OT — Jose Espinoza scored on a volley that slipped past the keeper to lift Salesian to a 1-0 win in the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division 5 playoffs Thursday afternoon. Salesian (18-4-2) will host Baldwin Park in a rematch of last year’s Division 5 championship game. Jovani Zayas provided the assist three minutes into the overtime. The goal seemed inevitable as the visiting Mustangs pressured up top in the final 10 minutes of the second half. La Caada (23-3-1) was making its second straight quarterfinal appearance. The Spartans were ousted in PK’s by Baldwin Park last year. La Caada had a great season and should hold its head up high. This game certainly provided a finals atmosphere as it was played in front of the largest La Caada soccer crowd this season. The Spartans lost to a team that has won two of the last three Division 5 championships; Salesian won the CIF Southern California Regional two years ago. Cameron Meeker and Matt Cannata wowed soccer aficionados with precision and spectacular scoring; Meeker finished the season with 33 goals and 13 assists and Cannata had 24 goals and 12 assists.

DIVISION 6
Pasadena Poly 0, Tahquitz 0 (Pasadena Poly wins on PK’s, 3-0): Pasadena Poly keeper Matt Morrish made one huge PK save in regulation and stopped three more during penalties to lead the Panthers to a 3-0 win on PK’s over Tahquitz after a scoreless tie. Morrish also scored one of the Panthers’ 3 penalties to earn the win. Pasadena Poly will visit Mountain View in the semifinals next Tuesday.

Oak Hills 3, Maranatha 0: Oak Hills took advantage of the long ball and scored a goal in the first 10 minutes of each half to pull away for the win. This was Maranatha’s deepest playoff run since making a finals appearance in 1997. The Minutemen accomplished their goal of bringing home the school’s first Alpha League title in more than a decade.

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  • MHS FAN

    Good luck to all area teams! MHS has the #2 seed, go get em!

  • Bob Anon

    There are golden goals in the CIF playoffs… Salesian beat LC 1-0 in overtime.

  • la canada

    i am so shocked that they lost
    they were one of the best high school teams i have seen
    well most of them are juniors and are gonna take it next year

  • Soccer Fan

    La Canada had an amazing season. A goal ratio for the season of almost 10-1 is unbelievable. Salesian were incredible in yesterdays game, and I will be shocked if they don’t win CIF. In fact, I’m not sure why they remain in Division 5. They are a private school that recruits their players… not all of these kids live in Boyle Heights. Salesian should be in Div 1 with St Francis. Anyway, great season for La Canada, and as the other poster said, about 7 or 8 of the top LC guys are juniors. If they all come back, next year could be even better!

  • Rob

    Polytechnic has three teams through to the CIF SS semi-finals? Boys soccer and basketbal and girls basketball, too? How did that tiny, nationally recognized, Ivy League feeder prep school become a sports power? Seriously, I’m not trying to be a smart as* here. I am actually really impressed. It’s not just the size of the school it’s the insane rigors of the academic expectation and excellence that makes the sports acheivements impressive. Yes, I know they play in a small division but still…. Heck I’d try to send my kid there if it didn’t cost so darn much!

  • Soccer Fan II

    There are private schools spread throughout the various CIF divisions in all sports. Salesian sits in one of Los Angeles’ most troubled neighborhoods. The vast majority of its students come from the surrounding parishes and Catholic elementary schools. The idea that Salesian “recruits” in the way that the elite schools like Loyola, St. Francis, Crespi, Servite, etc. do is laughable!

    As a long-time observer of the Salesian program, I can tell you that their success is the result of years of hard work. In the late 1990s, Salesian couldn’t win a league title or a playoff game! Little by little, the program progressed to its current level. Now the soccer talent in the local community (and there is a TON of it in East LA) makes Salesian its tops choice.

    If anything, the huge public schools in Division 5 have a competitive advantage due to their much larger talents pools. Salesian has about 400 boys in their school. La Canada has about 800. Baldwin Park has over 1,200!

    Anyway, I hear that the Salesian/La Canada game was played at a high level by both sides. Congratulations to both teams!

  • soccer fan III

    Soccer Fan II

    Salesian has kids on US Academy rosters currently who are allowed to play high school because they get scholarships to play soccer at Salesian. And, do more research, those boys DO NOT live in Boyle Heights, or even East LA.

  • Anonymous

    Soccer Fan II,

    Read the post again. I believe Soccer Fan I said “local community”. Which would certainly include the surrounding communities of Lynwood, South Gate, Montebello, Bell Gardens, Watts etc,. I am quite positive that there are not any kids coming in from Orange County or Ventura County like they do at some of the real athletic powerhouses like Loyola, Mater Dei or Oaks Christian.

  • lacanadadad

    This whole line of discussion is misguided, mean-spirited and unworthy of these two great schools and great teams. As the father of a La Canada soccer player, I find it silly for people to suggest that somehow Salesian had an unfair advantage because it can recruit from outside its neighborhood or that La Canada was in some way overmatched. What rubbish! Two of the best teams in the entire Southern Section played a fabulous game and at the end of the day, Salesian was just a little better. Whether some of the players live outside Boyle Heights or East Los Angeles is irrelevant.

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