Sierra League Soccer Roundup: St. Lucy’s beat South Hills 1-0 in overtime on Camaj’s game winner; other Sierra League results posted and video highlights for Chino HIlls-Claremont

St. Lucy’s win in OT: St. Lucy’s was having difficulty creating opportunities through the run of play against South Hills in Friday’s Sierra League girls soccer game.

That’s what the Huskies pesky defense does to you, central defenders Jessica Villagomez and Shayla Harris a big reason why the Huskies had allowed an area-low six goals and had lost just one game, though offensively they’re a work in progress, which is why they also have six ties.

The frustration was evident on St. Lucy’s attacking playmaker Victoria Camaj, who received a caution early in the second half, and had trouble creating clean opportunities in the box for her frontrunners.

But Camaj did what good players do. With the game scoreless in overtime, she started taking defenders on.

Camaj penetrated the box with a nifty cut to her left to free herself for a second, then buried a left-footed shot off the right net for the game winner in the 86h minute and first overtime to lead the Regents to a 1-0 win.

Sierra League
Girls Soccer

Ayala 3, Charter Oak 0
Chino Hills 0, Claremont 0
Boys Soccer
Claremont 2, Chino Hills 1
Damien 5, South Hills 1
Ayala 3, Charter O

Inland Insider Highlights and reaction on defending CIF champion Claremont’s 2-1 victory over Chino Hills in Boys Soccer.

Camaj nearly scored doing the same thing toward the end of regulation, but she was relieved she finally got one to go in to help the Regents improve to 12-4 and 2-0 in while the Huskies fell to 6-2-6 and 1-1.

“They have a very good defense, we kept trying and trying,” Camaj said. “My coach kept telling me to keep pushing, to keep cutting and cutting and I finally got around their defenders and got one in.”

South Hills coach Scott Mocabee knew stopping Camaj for 80 minutes would be difficult, so giving her an extra 20 minutes in overtime to do her thing wasn’t ideal.

“She does a very good job at finding that gap in between our back four and our midfield,” Mocabee said. “On that goal she found that spot and we didn’t close her good enough and she buried it. She’s a special player and someone who was on our radar before the game started.”

South Hills goalkeeper Morgan Bello made several good saves to keep the game scoreless, but the Huskies couldn’t muster much offensively, intent on sitting back and countering. The problem was there weren’t enough counters to seriously threat the Regents for most of the evening.

“Their game plan was obvious,” St. Lucy’s coach Andy Placentia said. “They did it well and have a couple of girls who hit some long balls. I can see why they had just given up six goals all year. They’re very well coached, organized and do what they do well, and on this field (natural grass) it makes it tough to hold the ball or create. But I’m proud of my girls because they kept working and finally got rewarded.”

Overall, Placentia was pleased. Several Regents played well, especially outside midfielder Shannon Kent, who constantly created havoc with her speed.

The Regents played better in the second half by creating space for themselves.

“We had our outside midfielders staying a little to central in the first half,” Placentia said. “I told them to stay wider to create more space inside. They stuck to it and it helped us get more opportunities. I know it’s a frustrating game with the field, touches and them being so well organized, but we pecked away and got it done.”

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  • MrMan

    Packing defense and sending long 50/50 balls forwardvis disappointing at the varsity level. I like the composure of SL back line and they way they pass out of the back which starts the attack. Camaj and Kent are on fire ! I would add Lanier to that 3 headed monster along with a list of additional players. Coach has the team playing well. Tough games next week. Sierra league is a beast !

  • Fred Robledo

    The player I like on South Hills is Mayra Almazan, she looks like the best player on the field at times, but they need to get her in more attacking situations. She hovers around midfield a lot, and the Huskies send deep balls at teams with three or four defenders waiting on them, so they will continue to struggle offensively until that changes. If you can’t create an attack out of the midfield, you’re going to struggle creating chances through the run of play. St. Lucy’s Camaj is the perfect example, she takes people on in the final third and either creates for herself or her teammates. Kent is great because she’s not only the fastest player on the field, but she’s good with the ball at her feet, takes good shots near the box and send dangerous crosses …

  • MrMan

    I agree Almanza is one heck of a player. Like Fred said the midfield is oh so important in the attack. It would be interesting to see Mayra playing up top. Question is does SH has another strong CM if they move Almanza to forward.

  • Fred Robledo

    I wasn’t suggesting moving her to forward, but playing more of an attacking role out of the midfield. It was as if the Huskies have two defensive central midfielders, and four defenders, you need a central midfielder committed to the attack, like Camaj, and a holding midfielder in the middle. South Hills’ back four look good enough to be more risky on offense. If you sit and play everyone behind the ball, all your opportunities are going to come on long balls and set pieces, and against good quality teams, you won’t win may games like that.

  • MrMan

    How can anyone tell if their back four are good enough. With the 2 mids basically playing in a defensive posture , it seemed more like a back 6. At times I counted 8 behind the ball.

  • need an offensive plan

    By the style described, it sounds a little like AYSOish style ball, put your athletes behind the ball and try to score a goal on a break away one on one. The six ties now make sense.

  • tommykiss

    This can easily be the Goal of the Year,

    Johnny Gama of Chino Hills on a free Kick against Claremont