Boys Soccer: St. Francis loses on golden goal, 2-1.

By Erik Boal Staff Writer

LA CAADA FLINTRIDGE — In a game of inches, not even the well-placed right foot of Luke Hatanaka could rescue the St. Francis boys’ soccer team Tuesday.

By the time St. Francis and Ventura broke their post-match huddles, neither coach was certain whether Kevin De Los Santos’ header in the 86th minute resulted in the ball crossing the goal line for the winning score.

But despite 12 saves from goalkeeper Luca Coppola and plenty of resilience demonstrated by a short-handed Golden Knights’ lineup, Ventura managed to preserve its unbeaten season with a 2-1 overtime victory in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 playoffs.

“I couldn’t see if it was on the line or not,” Ventura coach Todd Tackett said. “What I do know is that is not your normal 8-8-8 team. Glen (Appels) always does a great job of preparing his team well this time of year. We knew we’d be in for a fight.”

After Erick Sandoval scored the tying goal in the 73rd minute by redirecting a 20-yard free kick from Joe Hernandez inside the right post, the battle extended to a 10-minute sudden-death period.

Although Billy Abdallah made a sliding tackle to save a shot by Juan Leon in the 83rd minute, St. Francis couldn’t escape Ventura’s next throw-in unscathed.

De Los Santos elevated in the middle of the penalty area and headed a shot over Coppola’s head, but Hatanaka was waiting on the goal line to clear the ball. Unfortunately for the St. Francis junior defender, his effort was for naught as the center official signaled Ventura had scored the winning goal.

“I looked at the (sideline referee) and he had his flag down and was running back toward midfield, so I thought that indicated it wasn’t a goal,” Golden Knights coach Glen Appels said. “That’s a tough call to make at that point. It has to be really decisive when you’re in sudden-death overtime. I think our guys were looking at it through brown-and-gold-colored glasses, but in that situation the entire the ball needs to be across the entire line.”

Despite surrendering a goal in the fifth minute to Matt Laterza, Ventura (22-0-6) managed to earn a measure of revenge following a 2-0 setback to St. Francis (8-9-8) in the second round last season.

“The word on our white board was ‘redemption,’” Tackett said. “I thought they defended really well. We struggled to get our offense going against them, but in golden goal, anything can happen. It was nice to get that last one in. At halftime, I told them to ‘make this game a memory for yourself.’ They believe they can do it and they continue to find a way.”

With St. Francis playing the majority of the second half and overtime without injured midfielders Reed Izumi and Eric Bocanegra — who assisted on Laterza’s goal — along with Austin Frank and Laterza both playing through nagging injuries, a lack of depth became a factor for the Golden Knights.

Still, Laterza had a shot carom off the crossbar early in the second half and Ventura goalkeeper Eric Kam came up with a point-blank stop on a breakaway attempt by Frank in the 66th minute, denying St. Francis a two-goal advantage.

“If Matt’s shot were two inches lower, we’d be talking about our game Thursday,” Appels said. “I told them at halftime that we can’t just hope to sit back and defend for 40 minutes and that’s why the chances we had to go up 2-0 and didn’t convert cost us. But we did everything we could with what we had, relying on our freshmen to play against their seniors. Our guys fought to the last second and to the last inch, literally to the last inch. But they’re not undefeated for no reason.”

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2012 Baseball Preview: La Salle has high expectations


From left, Bowdien Derby, Nick Brown, Chris Williams and Noeh Martinez are key players on the La Salle High School baseball team. (Sarah Reingewirtz / Staff Photographer)

Note: Softball preview will run a week from today here on the blog and in the newspaper.

STAR-NEWS PRESEASON TOP 10 RANKINGS
1. La Salle
2. Temple City
3. Alhambra
4. Arcadia
5. Monrovia
6. Maranatha
7. South Pasadena
8. St. Francis
9. La Canada
10. San Marino

By Miguel A. Melendez Staff Writer

The consensus around the West San Gabriel Valley is Bowdien Derby of La Salle High School is the area’s best returning pitcher.

He proved himself last year with an outstanding season and nearly led the Lancers to an upset win over Palm Desert in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 playoffs.

Derby will lead a Lancers team primed for a run in the Del Rey League this season.

The proof was there last year when La Salle took powerhouse Bishop Amat to extra innings in the first league game with Derby on the mound.

With more depth in the rotation and helped by transfers, it’s no wonder the Lancers look poised. It’s also what makes them the Star-News’ preseason No. 1 team.

1. La Salle (18-11)

It starts with Derby, who is a two-time Star-News All-Area selection and was nothing short of spectacular as a junior, particularly in the season finale against Palm Desert.

He was clocked at 91 mph in front of pro and college scouts and his performance was so impressive it had Dodgers legend Steve Garvey on the phone with his former team to ask them to take a closer look at a star in the making.

What makes Derby an even more valuable asset is his versatility. He went 10-1 last year in 15 appearances that included seven complete games and five shutouts. He compiled 101 strikeouts and a 0.94 ERA.

He’s also arguably the area’s best shortstop. He batted .435 with three home runs, 19 RBIs and 12 doubles and earned first-team All-CIF-SS honors. Derby should have a strong supporting cast this season.

Chris Williams is a returning starting senior center fielder who earned second-team All-Area honors as a junior after batting .364 with 31 RBIs and six home runs.

La Salle took some lumps without pitching depth, but look for Austin Wallis to change that. He recorded one win and three saves in 12 appearances with a 2.10 ERA.

He primarily was a closer last year and is vying for the No. 2 spot.

La Salle has three top transfers in juniors Antonio Ruiz (El Monte), Jonathan Krieg (Loyola) and David Sanchez (Cathedral). Ruiz will help in the infield and battle Wallis for the second starting spot in the rotation. Krieg will be an outfielder and Sanchez will be a catcher.

“I’m very confident in the group we are fielding,” La Salle coach Harry Agajanian said. “We’re going to give teams a good run this year. We have a strong preseason schedule that will help us prepare for league.”

Rarely do you see a blockbuster game to start the season, but that’s what the Lancers have on hand next week when they play Temple City in the Elks Tournament opener.

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Call or e-mail boys soccer/boys basketball results and visit Scores Blog for immediate updates.

We will post results immediately on the new Prep Scores Results Blog as soon as coaches or representatives from teams call them in. If you look at the Star-News prep sports page, you’ll see the blog in the top right corner which will be updated throughout the evening as soon as results are called in or emailed to us. You can call in results to 626-962-8811, ext. 2233, 2242 or email results to scores@sgvn.com.

BOYS BASKETBALL
CIF-SS PLAYOFFS
TUESDAY’S GAMES
QUARTERFINALS
DIVISION 3AAA

Bonita at Pasadena
DIVISION 3AA
La Canada at South Torrance
DIVISION 5A
Holy Martyrs at Rio Hondo Prep
Rolling Hills Prep at AGBU/Pasadena
DIVISION 6
Arshag Dickranian at Renaissance Academy

BOYS SOCCER
TODAY’S GAMES
SECOND ROUND
DIVISION 1
Ventura at St. Francis, 3 p.m.
DIVISION 5
Cajon at Monrovia, 3 p.m.
Mountain View at La Canada, 3 p.m.
South Pasadena at Cajon, 3 p.m.
DIVISION 6
Marshall at San Jacinto, 3 p.m.
DIVISION 7
Bosco Tech at California Military Institute, 3 p.m.

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