Tuesday’s CIF-SS Second Round Schedule
All games start at 3 p.m.
Sunny Hills at Glendora
Bonita at Righetti
Los Altos at Garden Grove Pacifica
St. Lucy’s at Serrano
Bishop Amat at Santa Maria St. Joseph
Ocean View at Northview
Sierra Vista at San Marino
Alverno at San Dimas
Bell Gardens at Arroyo
By Fred J. Robledo
If anyone is going to beat you, one would expect it to be Bishop Amat’s April Juarez, the one with 39 goals and 17 assists. But Bishop Amat coach Ruben Gonzalez noted how visiting Walnut loves to play on offside trap, so he turned speedy sophomore Natalie Rivas loose and she was off to the races. Rivas scored all three goals in Bishop Amat’s 3-1 victory over Walnut in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 girls soccer playoffs on Thursday. (To continue, click thread).
Below: Bishop Amat’s Natalie Rivas showing her stuff in a previous match.
Thursday’s CIF-SS playoff results
Glendora 2, Great Oak 1
Ayala 4, Knight 0
Bonita 3, Sultana 1
Quartz Hill 1, Claremont 0
Los Altos 2, Arroyo Grande 1
St. Lucy’s 1, Yorba Linda 0
Bishop Amat 3, Walnut 1
Flintridge Prep 3, Diamond Bar 1
Cate 3, Gladstone 1
Beaumont 4, Wilson 0
Northview 3, San Jacinto 1
Sierra Vista 2, Sage Hill 1
San Dimas 8, La Puente 0
Segerstrom 3, Nogales 1
Garden Grove 1, Ganesha 0
Beverly Hills 1, Workman 0
Sierra Canyon 2, Mountain View 0
And she did it with pure speed and finishing, converting on three of four breakaway opportunities to send the Lancers into the second round on Tuesday against either Artesia or Santa Maria St. Joseph at a site to be determined.
Juarez did her part too, assisting on two of Rivas’ goals while Lyanna Farran had the other assist.
“They tried to use an offside trap a lot, but it didn’t really work,” Rivas said. “I do have a lot of speed. They (Juarez and Farran) just passed it over the top and I ran onto it.”
Rivas had scored just three goals all season before doubling her total as the second-seed Lancers improved to 23-1 while the Mustangs finished 13-10-2.
“We talked about (Rivas) being the x-factor,” Gonzalez said. “She can play out wide, up top, in the middle and for the most part had an off year (in terms of scoring). But we know she’s capable of stepping up and having a game like she did today.”
Walnut came out aggressively and spent most of the first half in Amat’s final third, but couldn’t create many scoring opportunities.
Rivas scored in the 21st minute on a through ball from Juarez and scored again in the opening minute of the second half to stake the Lancers to a 2-0 lead.
Rivas really showed her speed on her third goal, speeding past a defender who never saw her coming.
That last goal irked Walnut coach Lorraine Hansen.
“It’s really because we let them,” Hansen said, explaining the defeat. “Our defense got frustrated, they didn’t beat us, we beat ourselves today and it’s been the same all season.
“I think 85 percent of the game we were in their defensive third. Like I told the girls, you still haven’t been beaten by a team better than you, we completely defeated ourselves today.”
Allowing Walnut into into their final third was part of the game plan for the Lancers, who were determined not to give the Mustangs anything easy.
Most of Walnut’s goals this season have come on breakaways with quick forwards Stefanie Catone and Crystal Frisan.
But the Lancers played their defenders deep, inviting the Mustangs into their final third and daring them to create chances through the run of play.
It worked, the Lancers didn’t allow any breakaway opportunities, beating Walnut at its own game on counter attacks.
The Mustangs’ Alexia Avila scored the Mustangs’ lone goal in the 80th minute to avert the shutout, but that came with most of Amat’s starters already resting on the bench.
“We’re solid defensively,” Gonzalez said. “We struggled at the beginning (of the game), then I went back to what worked and thought we had a pretty good game plan for them.”