Marching On: La Serna players celebrating after knocking off No. 1 see Cabrillo, 4-1, on Tuesday. (Staff photo by Leo Jarzomb)
El Rancho 3, Cathedral 1
LOS ANGELES — El Rancho High School’s soccer team, ranked among the national leaders most of the season, hasn’t played its best during stretches of the playoffs.
But the Dons step up when they need to, which they showed Tueday afternoon at Cathedral High School.
Miguel Vilchis and Federico Bobadilla scored back-to-back goals during the middle of the first half and the Dons will play of its second consecutive CIF-Southern Section Division 4 title after rallying for a 3-1 victory over the Phantoms in the semifinals at Balzano Family Field.
El Rancho, ranked No. 5 nationally by ESPN and the division’s top seed, improved to 26-0 and will face either Crescenta Valley or Oak Hills, of Hesperia, in the championship game, either Friday or Saturday. The day, site and time will be announced by the CIF-SS on Wednesday.
The Phantoms, getting a goal from Axel Mendez, finished 19-4-2.
El Rancho senior forward Francisco Lara: “It feels good to get back to the finals.. But it feels a lot better this time, being undefeated. You want to give it all you can. You can’t expect to win, but just go hard and giveit all you can, and that’s what we did.”
La Serna 4, Cabrillo/Lompoc 1
WHITTIER – Soccer is a game of the lower extremities, feet, shins, knees and legs. But La Serna High School’s girls squad also made great use of their upper extremity, the head, in demolishing visiting Lompoc Cabrillo, 4-1, Tuesday in the semifinal round of the CIF-Southern Section, Division 5.
With the victory, the Lancers (18-5-5) qualify for the finals Friday or Saturday against the Downey-Cajon winner.
La Serna used their aggressive play and quickness to knock off the Division’s top-seeded Conquistadores (22-2-6) before a large crowd with partly sunny skies and a chilly breeze. The field showed the remnants of Monday’s rainstorm.
The Lancers had a pair of headers for goals, one each by Michelle Reed and Moriah Earley, which proved to be enough to topple Cabrillo. Reed’s goal came with 28 minutes gone in the first half off a well-placed corner kick by Danielle Telles, who was given an assist.
La Serna coach Tessa Troglia: “I thought we played with a lot of heart. Up to now we’ve been getting away with talent and athleticism, but today we put it all together.”