Soccer Semifinals: La Serna, El Rancho punch their Golden Tickets to finals

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
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.”

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  • ER soccer

    Its game time Dons! Go to work!……….

  • Dons

    Dons WIN!

  • Outraged

    However the ER-Cathedral game turns out, the Phantoms are already losers for having inadequate parking at the dump they call a school.

  • Real Deal

    La Serna defeats #1 Cabrillo (Lompoc) 4-1.

    Congrats to both the La Serna girls and El Rancho boys programs for representing the area so well. Lets bring back a couple rings for the WDN to write about!

  • prep dad

    Props for your win today,

    but this division is too easy for EL Rancho

  • on the road

    Is the Ranch ever going to play their best game to really dominate a CIF game? I keep reading that they still have not played their best. This division might not be the right devision for the Ranch, The most dificult match they played on the road to the final might have just been to the wild card winner Duarte, whats up with that? Please play your best in the final and score a shut out and dominate with a final of 4-0, you national ranked #5.

  • Steve

    @ prep dad & on the road: El Rancho is playing hard, can they play better maybe. Please dont let this score mislead you because Cathedral is a very good team. It may be hard to believe however our area plays great soccer. Thats why if El Rancho wins the SS CIF they will play as a D-1 school for State.

    Big props gos to the LS girls soccer team, lets both prove our area is special in soccer.

  • rick

    The game started with both teams sizing each other up. Cathedral showed no signs of fear towards El Rancho. As a matter of fact, Cathedral scored in the first 5min. of the game. My first instinct was to look at the El Rancho players and coaches. I saw none. They calmly acted as though nothing had happened. They look like a team that had been here before. That was the moment that convinced me that the Don’s were for real. It took about 10 min. for the Don’s to respond with a beautiful passing display. And then came the 2nd goal. The third goal came from a play from right to left. And the player shot a beautiful left footed shot from about the 20yrd. line and put it on the right side.

  • olddon

    El Rancho played great and the refs let them both play hard and physical. To prep dad our league like many area leagues are robust in soccer. Believe me the Ranch is trying to win by more however the other team wants to win also and knows if they do they have knock the number one team in the State out of a repeat (CIF).

  • reality

    Obviously several posters are trying to discount ER’s triumphs by stating they play in a weak division. SOUR GRAPES!!! With a huge bullseye put on ER by ESPN they have vanquished all opposition. This teams grit and determination along with preperation and coaching really needs to be recognized alot more than they have. To be near the top in the nation is something considering there are what 40,000 high schools that play futbol. Go ER Dons!!!!

  • rick

    Once again I witnessed the poor sportsmanship from the players and the fans. They would repeatedly chant put…
    This is a catholic school. I told this to the players and coaches after we lost to them. Cathedral was kicking and giving cheap shots. One of the players, I think #10 had his forehead split open. I have great respect for Cathedral’s game, but El Rancho is just so much better at ball movement, ball skills in tight spots. To much for Cathedral. That #20 from El Rancho is so good with the ball. I am even more proud to find out today, that most of El Rancho’s players when they were younger played in Inter America S.L. Where I coached my older team. Truly humble beginnings. Not Coast but a small soccer league.

  • rick

    I spoke to the Oak Hills coach, and he said that they lost to Crescenta Valley in pk’s. He said that they weren’t as tough as Artesia. Wish you good fortunes in the championship game. After watching your game today at Cathedral, you deserve it. You have alot of character and poise. More class than Cathedral. This is the team that I was hoping to see. Good luck!

  • El Rancho

    I truly enjoyed the game and the Phantoms are for real no point (no joke) intended. Cathedrals #7 was amazing, fast, skilled and persistent. Cathedral should be proud of themselves, they might not want to hear that right now but they played with heart.

    @ Outraged said: parking is inadequate. The school being a dump no way its a very nice school.

  • Real Deal

    La Serna girls will take on Downey for the D5 title Friday.

    Rematch of last years semis where Downey won 2-1 in the final minute. This is a dream match up for LS because its not many times you get a chance for revenge on a bigger stage than before. They played earlier in the year to a 0-0 tie in a game that was called at halftime due to weather.

  • rick

    #8 from Cathedral is the motor of there team. And is also the brains. Ya parking is difficult. That’s why I thought Cathedral wasn’t going to be a push over. I was told that they will only loose two players. Wow! Look out for them next year. This game had that truly soccer flavor. Even when it got heated it was great. I jsut wanted to see a great game. And both teams did not dissapoint.

  • rick

    By the way. Channel 34 was at the game. Look out for the highlights tonight in the sports edition.

  • rick

    Again Oak Hills lost in Pk’s. So it will be a Crescenta Valley vs. El Rancho

  • Steely Don

    @ on the road: Points well taken my friend. A team which goes 28-0 with everybody gunning for them is indeed suspect. Only the teams with losses and low rankings deserve our respect; the high achievers are most likely fraudulent.

  • erdons

    Crescenta Valley has not lost a game this season, Falcons 19-0-6, Nation 15 and State7. Its gonna be a great final. GO DONS!
    La Serna vs. Downey matchup is out of this world. Sorry Downey I have to go with La Serna on this one.

  • rick

    Elaborate a little more on you comment if you will.

  • rick

    No losses but 6 ties.

  • ranchhand

    The Falcons are very tall in physique. That alone could be a problem for any team.

  • rick

    Cathedral faced a similar team in size. Santa Monica. Believe me, they were about 6’2+ and physical. As long as you position yourself properly and check to the ball. You will be fine. Example: Mexico is traditionally an undersized team. So how is it that they beat European teams that beat them by an average hight of 6 inches. It’s all about how cleaver you are with the ball and how much you are willing to win it. You will be fine.

  • ranchhand

    @ rick: tremendous clairvoyant on our physical size challenge. Hopefully we will be as keen as need to be with the ball. Man we need to win this next game. Im out have to go to work

  • soccerfan

    The way El Rancho moves the ball around and how quick a lot of their players are, it might actually work against CV that they are a tall team. Barcelona is a perfect example of how you don’t need height to win. Play your game ER and the odds will be in your favor. Good luck!

  • ersoccer

    I have not totally internalized this win. We have a great chance to repeat, awesome. Right now I cant accurately articulate how I feel and maybe many ER fans feel the same, wow. Do not know what to say..

  • SP

    Whatever steely don, you guys got lucky. Phantoms should beat your public school you guys suck!

  • Steely Don

    The finals will be played at either Warren or Mission Viejo high school. Both have modern, upscale, championship-caliber stadiums. If this type of facility is deemed necessary and desirable for SOCCER, how much more important is this type of environment for the football finals?

    Not to labor the point, but I suggest that CIF establish minimum standards for a championship venue, including (but not limited to) seating capacity, field condition, availability of parking and the existence of a press box. This is the 21st century, and these kind of venues exist in abundance. There is no excuse to play a championship game in a lesser setting.

  • Steely Don

    @ SP: We “sucked” the life right out of your fabulous Phantoms and we’re back in the finals, defending our existing CIF Championship. You’re saying that being 28-0 is a stroke of luck, huh?

    But seriously SP, ever since you made that daring prediction in this Cathedral disaster, your stock has risen and we all want to know who will hoist the hardware in the finals. Do tell, we’re all waiting breathlessly.

  • Jesus Christ

    It’s a bit funny that people keep trying to kill El Rancho for playing close games. It’s the Playoffs. I know the rest of the Del Rio League is accostomed to watching 84-20 CIF Football games, but sometimes things dont get so lopsided.

    There are no bad teams in the playoffs, per se. Maybe these teams played above their skill level, Which happens.

    I might fly in for the game.

    Blue Pride.

  • Mojo

    Shut up tool! It’s obvious that you are Jesus Christ also, you loser. You back up your sorry posts all the time and JC posts 14 min later @ midnight and both reference the football championship. There’s no way that two losers are posting @ midnight about soccer, get a life moron.

  • Rick

    El Rancho was not lucky. I was there as a neutral fan.
    I saw the game from a coaches perspective and not from emotion. I thought that Cathedral had a slight advantage because of how El Rancho started slow in the playoffs. But they played better every game. They didn’t look spectacular every game, Believe me. We had tape on every one of there games in these playoffs. But it doesn’t matter as long as you improve every game. I feel good about there chances this saturday. Cathedral will be the team to beat next year. They have that #8 coming back and I here he is just a sophomore. El Rancho, I believe will say bye to the 4th div.

  • Rick

    Phantoms, you should be excited about next year. You will get over this painful loss. But these games are very valuable. Especially for a young team. Believe me this game will go a long way for next year. Why do you think coaches try to give under class men time. For experience!
    What better time than the playoffs. As for size, ask Chris Paul from the clippers if size matters. He is playing against players that have a 9′ size advantage. Note, my team is the Lakers. So I hate to say good things about the enemy. And by the way, you have some size and bulk. You have about 4 players that look to be about six feet tall.

  • Rick

    By the way, did you guys see the highlights on channel 34 (Univision) of the goals last night on the EL Rancho vs. Cathedral? They didn’t show the Cathedral goal. Nice interviews on El Rancho.

  • Rick

    One worry that I would address to El Rancho is the continues gap they leave exposed in the middle of the field when other teams counter attack. You can’t do that. The other thing that I saw was that the defenders were playing zone on the Cathedral forward. And just like it happened to our school, Cathedral scored. I kept saying to my other coach watch, El Rancho will pay the price if they don’t respect there attackers. You gave them to much room to operate. And sure enough they paid the price. Adjustments were made after the Cathedral game.

  • Rick

    Correction: Goal not game.

  • ER Baseball

    Congratulations to the Dons and Lancers for making the finals bring both rings home.

    If anyone is interested El Rancho plays St John Bosco tonight at Paramount 6:15 pm for the Paramount baseball tournament championship both clubs are undefeated.

  • SP

    @steely don

    Crescenta Valley wins by 4 in a shutout!…… you can exhale now you dewed, I holler at you later with a smile so dont dry out.


    8141 De Palma Street

    Friday, March 2, 2012
    Admission Gates Open – 4:30 p.m.

    5:00 p.m. – Boys Division 4

    Home: * El Rancho
    Visitor: Crescenta Valley

  • Steely Don

    @ SP: I thank you sincerely for the expert pick…if this selection turns out remotely like your previous call, ER will win back-to-back.