“We talk about it (doubling) all the time. We won CIF and it was great in the moment and it’s not that we’re not satisfied, but our goal has always been CIF and state champs. It wasn’t one or the other. So, we’re really hoping we can get there (SoCal Regional final) and get it this time.” – Bishop Amat senior Nayeli Requejo on trying to become first Lancers girls soccer team to win CIF and state.
By Fred J. Robledo,Staff Writer
The Bishop Amat girls soccer team didn’t have much time to celebrate Saturday’s 4-2 victory over Pasadena Poly in the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 championship game — the Lancers’ second divisional title in three years.
The CIF-State Southern California Division II Regional playoff pairings were announced Sunday and Bishop Amat was back on the field Monday for its first-round game against visiting La Jolla, a team that lost in Saturday’s CIF-San Diego Section finals.
But just like that, the Lancers picked up where they left off, squeezing out a 3-2 victory on senior forward Nayeli Requejo’s header in the 68th minute.
Requejo, who barely stands 5-feet, muscled her way through a group of defenders to finish home Cassandra Reyes’ corner kick for the winner.
“I’ve scored a few headers and sometimes it’s just luck,” Requejo said. “It tapped me (on the head) and went in. I was like, ‘yes, finally.’ It was a close game so I’m glad I got that for us, especially late in the game so we didn’t have to hold them off to long.”
Third-seed Bishop Amat advances (23-4-5) to Wednesday’s regional semifinal at second-seed San Diego Cathedral Catholic (23-3-4) at 4 p.m. Amat beat Cathedral Catholic in the regional semifinals last year 3-2, but lost in the championship game, 2-1, to Santa Margarita.
La Jolla and Bishop Amat were sluggish early, which led to a 2-2 tie at half.
La Jolla’s Rachel Carroll scored twice, her first on a beautiful 25-yard shot that dipped under the crossbar for a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute.
Reyes, who had the assist on Requejo’s game-winning goal, tied the score on a 30-yard free kick that slipped past a group of players straight for the left corner to tie the score in the 17th minute, 1-1.
After Reyes was taken down just outside the box for a free kick in the 23rd minute, Amat senior midfielder Yazmin Montoya made the Vikings pay with a rifle off the upper netting to go in front, 2-1.
That was short lived.
Carroll tied the score 30 seconds later on a shot that slipped through the hands of Lancers goalkeeper Ruby Nichols to make it 2-2.
Lancers coach Ruben Gonzalez didn’t like playing on two-days rest nor does he like the speedy state playoffs that ends on Friday, forcing teams to play three games in five days to win the championship.
But he felt better after the win.
“It’s a good win,” Gonzalez said. “We struggled a little bit, but both teams were a little tired, you didn’t see the best brand of soccer. It’s kind of tough to come back after both teams were in the final just a couple days ago. But luckily, we’re moving on.”
For all of Bishop Amat’s success the past three years what it hasn’t done is doubled.
Amat won the Division 3 title in 2011, but lost in the first round of the SoCal playoffs.
Last year Amat lost in the CIF-SS Division 3 and Southern California Regional championship games.
“We talk about it (doubling) all the time,” Requejo said. “We won CIF and it was great in the moment and it’s not that we’re not satisfied, but our goal has always been CIF and state champs. It wasn’t one or the other. So we’re really hoping we can get there and get it this time.”