Soccer Semifinals: Mountain Views show champions heart; Sierra Vista history-making season continues; Unbeaten Baldwin Park and Bishop Amat lose heartbreakers; Los Altos falls after allowing late goal, 1-0

IMPORTANT REMINDER: The state playoffs for soccer are next week, with divisions based on enrollment. The deadline to apply is today, with the Bishop Amat girls soccer team having the best shot of qualifying in Division II. All teams that reached the semi’s should file their paperwork with the CIF-State office and see what happens.

Let me explain it this way, Amat is wondering how in the heck it lost after living in Sultana’s final third and out-chancing them by a mile. Los Altos and Granite Hills traded punches in a game that could have gone either way, but that’s life in soccer, this game rewards finishing, not chances. Guess we gotta wait a whole year for the rematch. Baldwin Park going down against Salesian is a heartbreaker of gigantic proportions too, because you know how much it meant for them to get another shot at those guys. But we got Sierra Vista, the new kids on the block, the absolute surprise of the year playing for its first title. And then you got Mountain View, “The never underestimate the heart of a champion,” Vikings winning twice in sudden death, and again in penalty kicks to earn a shot at defending its title. Hey, 2 out of 5 aint so bad.


Bishop Amat’s Natalie Rivas (8) with April Juarez (10) and Chelsea Villegas (6) walks off the field as Sultana beat Bishop Amat 1-0. (Photo by Keith Birmingham)

Mountain View game story: Three times the Mountain View High School boys soccer team reached the brink of elimination, and three times it had an answer. This time the Vikings needed more than overtime to beat Pasadena Poly, 4-3, on penalty kicks after a 1-1 tie in the semifinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division 6 playoffs.

Sierra Vista game story: The Dons got goals from Daniella Flores and Beatriz Barrett and advanced to the CIF-Southern Section final for the first time with a 2-1 victory over visiting Alverno in a Division 7 semifinal on Tuesday.

Bishop Amat game story: The Bishop Amat High School girls soccer team was dominating visiting Sultana so thoroughly that it wasn’t a matter of if but when it would find the equalizer after giving up an early goal on a set piece that started on a throw-in. The Lancers waited anxiously, then nervously while peppering shots over the crossbar, missing near post, far post, and not connecting on what seemed like a handful of corner-kick opportunities – then it was over, the final whistle ending not just a game, but an undefeated season.

Los Altos game story: The last time the Los Altos High School girls soccer team made it to a CIF-Southern Section divisional final was 1993 – the year they won their last CIF-SS title.

Baldwin Park game story: The Baldwin Park High School boys soccer team’s dream rematch with Salesian turned into a nightmare in the final minutes of their CIF-Southern Section Division 5 semifinal showdown.

CIF-SS Girls Soccer Playoffs
Tuesday’s semifinals
Division 4

Sultana 1, Bishop Amat 0
Granite Hills 1, Los Altos 0
Division 7
Sierra Vista 2, Alverno 1

CIF-SS Boys Soccer
Tuesdays semifinals
Division 5

Salesian 3, Baldwin Park 2
Division 6
Mountain View 1, Pasadena Poly 1, Mountain View wins in PKs, 4-3

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  • diogenes

    Well, Fred has spoken. He picks Amat over defending champion Sultana of Hesperia and Apple Valley’s Granite Hills over our own Los Altos in the other Division 4 semi final. Both the visitors for Tuesday’s games bring solid credentials and records to the contests. Of the four, Granite Hills is the most impressive. For the last four years they have dominated their league and made the playoffs. In 2006 they went 21-3-4, in 07 it was 22-7-2, in 08, 19-3-2, and this season, 22-3-1. Pretty impressive. Coaches Mike Bradbury and Megan Bodiford have built the Cougars into a consistent contender for titles. They have a team of girls that not only have played together for years, before high school, but in a system they could run in their sleep. Los Altos will have its hands, and feet, full in this one, but have their own skills and belief that this is their year. Sorry, Fred, but we think you are wrong. We like Los Altos. Go, Blue, or for this game, Go, White.

  • soccer lvr

    Sierra Vista’s game against Alverno should be a good game. They played each other preseason with SV winning 4-1.

    But we know it will not be an easy game, Alverno is going to come at the girls strong.

    But like the story in the paper said, if you cover our best player, the middle and sides can take up the slack. The WHOLE team is great. When St. Paul covered Carlos, Rodriguez stepped it up, and when they were both being covered, Betty Barret was able to step up and score. We also have Jasmine Loera and Bianca Chavez in the middle. And let’s not forget Daniella Flores and Estela Diaz. It’s going to be hard to cover all of these girls.

    Then there is the defense!

  • kurmugin

    Los Altos. Good luck and good game Tuesday. Our best to you. It has been a real pleasure this year to watch you and the effort, energy and skills you have applied in every game. The grace and sportsmanship you demonstrated, win, loss or tie, is a credit to you, your coaches, school, fans, and families. You have done us proud. Your opponent Tuesday is a good team from a school with a winning tradition, gracing the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year. They are hardened to the stress and high level of play that comes with playoff competition that you bring to the game. You can expect them to be, like you, tough and talented. Tuesdday is what you have worked for so long and so well. You want Amat? One more time, LA, one more time.

  • LA Soccer Dad

    What kurmugin said:
    Wow! Well said kurmugin…cant sum it up any better than that!
    Lets go get two more W’s Lady Conqueror’s

  • FredJ

    With Los Altos moving its semifinal to 6 p.m., at La Puente High, I can see it now, if Bishop Amat wins, you’ll have the whole team at La Puente scouting its next opponent…In any case, it’s great for the Valley to have a chance to watch both games, and not have to travel far to see both…Well done L.A.

  • Futbol Crazy

    The game of the day has to be Baldwin Park at Salesian. Both teams play great attacking soccer. Both teams are loaded with talent at midfield. Both teams have playoff experience. Both teams have great fan followings.

    In addition to the talent on the field, there are great storylines attached to the game. Afterall, these two teams met last year in a CIF Final that went Salesian’s way in OT! Baldwin Park has not lost a game since that day…almost one full year!! Salesian has a great recent history of CIF titles (I think 3 since 2000?) while BP has not yet reached the promised land!

    Hard to believe that this game is only a semi-final! Any predictions?

    Fred, why are you picking BP??

  • BRAVETOWN

    GOOD LUCK TO THE BRAVES TODAY AT SALESIAN. THIS CALLS TO BE ANOTHER CLASSIC GAME. THE BRAVES NEED TO JUST PLAY THE GAME THEY’VE PLAYED ALL YEAR AND NOT GET CAUGHT UP IN THE WHOLE PAYBACK FROM LAST YEAR. LOOKING FOR A GREAT ATMOSPHERE TODAY. IM SURPRISED THE GAME WAS NOT SCHEDULED FOR A 5:00 START TIME TO ACCOMODATE THE STUDENTS AND PARENTS OF BOTH SCHOOLS. SALESIAN IS A HELL OF A PROGRAM AND BRAVES GIVE THEM PLENTY OF RESPECT, BUT HERES TO A BRAVES TRIP TO THE FINALS….

    GO BRAVES !!!!

  • Soccer fan

    It will be very interesting to see how the games turn out.

    Amat v Sultana – Sultana isn’t that good of a team technically. In their last game versus La Serna, they were dominated on the floor with crisp passing and through balls, but what Sultana is dangerous with are corners and throw-ins near the goal. If Amat can limit Sultana’s chances for both things, they will win easily. But if they get a lot of chances, Amat’s perfect season could come to an end. Amat’s strengths are Sultana’s weaknesses. Technical soccer and speed will win Amat the game.

    Los Altos v Granite Hills – Granite Hills may be on a mission this season. The last two seasons they have got to the Championship game and lost. 08 to La Serna, last season to Sultana. The only two advantages I give Los Altos is home-field and goalkeeping. Other than that Granite Hills is better in every aspect of the game.

    Both will be very good soccer games and its tough to guess the finals matchup. I think it will either be happiness for the SGV with an Amat v Los Altos final or a re-matach of last years final with Granite Hills v Sultana.

  • soccer lvr

    Sierra Vista was also looking for a 5 pm start game to accomodate the parents. Unfortunately, Alverno is not “used” to playing at this time and refused to play at this time.

    3 pm is better for the students, because as soon as classes end at 3:10 they can hurry to the game. Many students are not able to return at 5 pm. But many family members can. SV wanted at 5 so their parents can come and support them. I guess we will have to do with just students and a handful of parents. But, that’s ok, we have some of the loudest students around!Which could definitely be heard when SV played against St. Paul on Friday.

  • GIRL’S SOCCER

    Congratulations to Sierra Vista! Great well played game! Best wishes and good luck to you vs. CAMS in the final, you should win! Hope to play you again early next season.

    Steve Lesse
    Alverno Soccer

  • Hey Guy

    Come on Fred! Where is the article on the Baldwin Park vs. Salesian game? The undefeated Baldwin Park team that you have been promoting all season loses…and not a peep from you? You predicted BP. What happened? Where is the story on the game?

  • soccer lvr

    Coach Lesse,

    On behalf of the Sierra Vista Lady Dons, thank you for your best wishes. It was a tough game, your girls played a good game. I am sure they will meet again.

  • FredJ

    Hey guy, this is how it works, I can’t be at five games at one time. I’ll post stories of all the games when reporters are finished with them.

  • soccer lvr

    What game will you be at for the finals? Will you finally make it to a Sierra Vista game?

  • LA Soccer Dad

    FredJ Said:
    “Los Altos and Granite Hills traded punches in a game that could have gone either way, but that’s life in soccer, this game rewards finishing, not chances.”

    Boy your not kidding Fred! That was a great game last night between LA & GH. LA came out and put tons of pressure on GH in the 1st Half and had many good, but missed opportunities, it really looked like LA was going to control this game, but towards the end of the half and for most of the 2nd half, GH displayed tremendous poise, skill and ball control and turned the momentum around, they had LA bunched in on defense and were pressing LA’s goal and it was a matter of time before they popped one in. The LA girls can hold their heads high, they played with a lot of determination and skill of their own and lost to a better team (in my opinion) What a great season the Lady Conqs had and all we can say now is “wait till next year”

  • Baseball NUT

    Outside of the Army, I have lived in the SGV 35 of my 45 years. I have been toO close to 500 football games including the four years I played, 500 baseball games including the four years I played.

    SO for a team/school that has received very little ink in all those years compared to my school or the other of the so called big boys, I want to say HATS OFF to the lady Dons of Sierra Vista!!! If the game is on Friday, I will clear my afternoon schedule, and attend my FIRST soccer game, to show my support. You ladies deserve it!

    AGAIN CONGRATS TO SIERRA VISTA!!!!

  • GHigh

    Congrats Sierra Vista! Ganesha is looking forward to joining your league and competing against an awesome program like yours. Nice to see the Montview getting some respect. Good luck in the championship game-we will be rooting for you.

  • Coach

    First, I would like to take my hat off the the Los Altos Girls Soccer Team. What a great performance you displayed last night under the lights. Classy, Composed, Controlled and Calculated are the words that come to my mind about your Team and Coach.

    Coach Reeder,

    What a classy guy you are! To move this Semi Final away from your home field to a Championship environment shows the respect you have for the greatest game on earth, your team and your school. With so much youth on your roster, I have no doubt that you will be back next year. Use this semi final as a measuring stick to your future success.

    Coach B

  • diogenes

    Ouch. Double ouch. The 1-0 losses by both Amat and Los Altos, despite wonderful, winning seasons by both, sure put a damper on feeling good about their performances this season. As it has ever been in every kind of competition, there, in the end, is only one winner. Everyone else is a loser. Harsh, not fair or equitable, but accurate.

    To those who have played the games that led up to the end of their participation in competitive sport at this level, losing is a drop into freezing cold water, a hard slap in the face, a nightmare they can’t escape. But, they will. The resiliance of youth is on their side.

    Putting it in perspective, it’s nothing. It is nothing to other players, in other schools, in other places. They know nothing about it. It doesn’t effect them at all. To Austin Lacy, dodging death, to his friends, family and team mates, it is nothing. To life’s scorekeeper, it is a blip on the scope, a bump, a shrug. But, as ABC’s Wide World of Sport once described it, it is still “the agony of defeat”. It hurts.

    Undoubtedly hurts most for the seniors. At Los Altos, Justine Padilla, Lauren Velasquez. Ashley Richardson, Sarah Johnson, and Allie Crosby ended distinguished four-year careers for the Conquerors with sterling efforts against all their opponents this year, particularly against Granite Hills.

    For the others, Shubin, Cofer, Shubin, Avery, et al, there is always “next year” and the years after that. Fair warning, they will be tough. A winning traditiom has been forged. For Amat, that one loss can’t take away what they did this season. For Los Altos, two losses and a couple of ties does not diminish what they accomplished. Both teams can stand proud.

    With “Goal!” fading except for Sierra Vista and Mountain View, it’s “batter up” for the rest of us. For every player on every team that took to our soccer fields this year, thank you.

  • soccer lvr

    I want to thank those fellow bloggers who supported Sierra Vista (even if SV wasw from the Montview League) throughout their amazing season. They were right, if I didn’t toot their horn, nobody elsa was (hint, hint, Fred).

    It was mentioned in the paper that it was a surprise to see the Lady Dons go so far. Well it was not a surprise to our school or myself. I have been saying over and over how amazing and wonderful these girls are. They are not only strong offensively but defensively as well. And how many times did Fred come see them? ZERO TIMES. Towards the end he did send a reporter atleast. And his two top teams that he has been writing about all season? Where are they now? Now I dont mean anything bad about LA or BA. I was rooting for them to win. I went out to the LA game last night to cheer for them after SV played and took my daughter. And I was disappointed to see them lose. What I am trying to say is that Fred should have been more supportive. I know I wasn’t the only one complaining how much reportage there was for LA or BA.

    Again I want to thank you for the good wishes for the Sierra Vista’s Lady Dons. I really hope they win, as 7 or 8 of the starting players are Seniors and this will be a great way to finish off their four years of hard work.

    We have 2 juniors and a freshman who will be returning next year- Jasmine Loera (F) Chata Rodriguez (J) and Alyssa (J), our Goalie. We will also see the return of one our players who was injured before the season began. The coaches are going to have to rebuild for next year. But with coaches like Steve and Guerro, I know we can do it!

    Baseball Nut, my brother went to his first soccer game when we first played Alverno preseason. He was hooked! He came to every single game he could and he hasnt missed a game during playoffs. Although he was cheering for his old school- Workman. But that is ok. This is a great sport to watch.

    GHigh, what do you mean about Ganesha joining our League?

    GO LADY DONS!!!!!

  • FredJ

    Soccer Lover, whether I’m at the game or not is not the point, I made sure Sierra Vista was covered from the quarterfinals on, just like everyone else. The games I choose to attend are based on the entire season, which is why I was at Baldwin Park (quarterfinals) and Bishop Amat (semifinal) games, both were top seeds with undefeated seasons, and Los Altos had a special season going just like your girls. I haven’t been to a Mountain View game in the playoffs either, with five teams in the semifinals, there’s only so many teams you can see. Fortunately for me, I will get to see both in the championship games so stop pouting, I think you will agree we had a nice picture earlier in the week of your two star players, and I’m hoping both bring home titles. As far as Sierra Vista being a surprise, I think anytime you reach the quarters, semi’s and now finals for the first time ever, it’s a surprise considering the history of the school when it comes to girls soccer.

  • soccer lvr

    Sierra Vista will play CAMS on Friday, March 5 at 4 pm. Gates open at 3:30. Not sure how much the tickets cost.

    Mission Viejo High School
    25025 Chrisanta Dr.
    Mission Viejo, CA 92691

    And Fred I was talking about how you didn’t once see them during the regular season. I understand why you went to see LA and BA during the semi’s. It wouldn’t have been a surprise at how far SV have gotten if you had seen them play earlier in the season. And yes that was a nice picture of them post season, but what about the regular season? I am just saying that for future years, don’t discount a team because they play in a lower level division or in a “lesser” league.

  • cif

    Does anyone know the rules for CIF State selections? I know they go by enrollment but are CIF Division Champions regardless of division automatically chosen over a higher division semi or finalist? A perfect example will be Sierra Vista. They are Division 2. So is Harvard Westlake and Bishop Amat. If Sierra Vista wins would they go over these 2 teams?

  • FredJ

    State playoffs go by 1) team record 2) strength of schedule 3) record against common opponents, giving Amat the inside track over Sierra Vista in D-2 state playoffs. The only lock is Harvard-Westlake.

  • SGV Dad

    There are three divisions in the CIF Regional Soccer tournament.
    Each division is divided by attendance.
    Div I attendance 2300+
    Div II 1000 2299
    Div III 11-999

    There will be 8 teams in each divisional playoff.
    4 from So Cal CIF (our section), 3 from SD CIF and 1 from LA City.

    For So Cal I would think Harvard Westlake, Beckman and Granite Hills are in, leaving 1 spot for another team. The others with a shot are (in no particular order):

    South Torrance Div 5 record 22-5-3, in Div 5 finals
    ND Academy Div 5 , record 14-3-3, in Div 5 finals
    Sierra Vista Div 7, record 18-2-1, in Div 7 finals
    Bishop Amat Div 4, record 27-1-2, Div 4 semi-finalist
    Los Altos Div 4, record 25-2-2, Div 4 semi-finalist

    Sultanas attendance is 2589 and Flintridge SH is 800.

  • Zeno

    As a fan of the Los Altos Girls Varsity Soccer team, the last 24 hours have been hard. I have witnessed this team develop for the last 4 years from a perennial also ran within their own league, to a Division 4 power to be reconed with. Each year over the past four, they slowly evolved a team ethos, based on selfless play, hard work, and heart. Each year over the past four, they improved upon the last season’s performance, going at least one game deeper in the CIF playoffs. I remember fondly graduated players who left their mark on this team, whose spirit and hard work left a legacy of enthusiasm that this team has drawn upon in their incredible run up to the Division 4 Semi-Finals. Girls like Chelsea Rozsa, and Tasha Campbell whose indefatigable energy and spirit defined what it was to be a Lady Conqueror. To this legacy now can be added Allie Crosby, Sarah Johnson, Justine Padilla, Ashley Richardson, and Lauren Velasquez. These graduating seniors have taken this program from its modest achievements of some 4 years ago to one of the premier programs in the valley, if not the region at large. I want to thank these ladies for the great pleasure of watching them grow into the outstanding women they have become. I will miss seeing them on the soccer field, but am certain they will carry their legacy of heart and enthusiasm into their future endeavors, enriching whatever community they involve themselves with. Thanks ladies!

    Read more: http://www.sgvtribune.com/preps/ci_14502613#ixzz0hBtni4fU

  • Zeno

    As a fan of the Los Altos Girls Varsity Soccer team, the last 24 hours have been hard. I have witnessed this team develop for the last 4 years from a perennial also ran within their own league, to a Division 4 power to be reconed with. Each year over the past four, they slowly evolved a team ethos, based on selfless play, hard work, and heart. Each year over the past four, they improved upon the last season’s performance, going at least one game deeper in the CIF playoffs. I remember fondly graduated players who left their mark on this team, whose spirit and hard work left a legacy of enthusiasm that this team has drawn upon in their incredible run up to the Division 4 Semi-Finals. Girls like Chelsea Rozsa, and Tasha Campbell whose indefatigable energy and spirit defined what it was to be a Lady Conqueror. To this legacy now can be added Allie Crosby, Sarah Johnson, Justine Padilla, Ashley Richardson, and Lauren Velasquez. These graduating seniors have taken this program from its modest achievements of some 4 years ago to one of the premier programs in the valley, if not the region at large. I want to thank these ladies for the great pleasure of watching them grow into the outstanding women they have become. I will miss seeing them on the soccer field, but am certain they will carry their legacy of heart and enthusiasm into their future endeavors, enriching whatever community they involve themselves with. Thanks ladies!

    Read more: http://www.sgvtribune.com/preps/ci_14502613#ixzz0hBtni4fU

  • GHigh

    soccer lvr: you didn’t know that Ganesha is joining the Montview next year to make it an 8 team league? Good luck today!

  • soccer lvr

    GHigh, I havent had a chance to speak to Coach Steve about Ganesha moving to the Montview League. How did Ganesha move leagues? How is that done? Does anyone know?

    Thanks for your good wishes and look forward to seeing you next year. Hopefully, the Montview League can finally get some respect.