By John Sherrard, Correspondent
WHITTIER – Two seniors led the way for the La Serna High School boys soccer team in Wednesday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 3 wild-card playoff game.
Midfielder Hugo Loza and defender Juan Lopez each scored second-half goals to lead the Lancers past visiting Tustin 2-0 and give La Serna its first playoff win in the last two years.
Now the real fun begins for La Serna, which will make a long road trip to face No. 4 Palmdale on Friday.
However, that shouldn’t faze La Serna (11-8-3), which already knocked off No. 1 El Rancho, 1-0, last week and earlier in the season handed highly-ranked Division 2 Sunny Hills a 1-0 loss.
“Defense is our strength and has been our strength all year,” La Serna coach Jerrod Savala said, referring to his teams’ nine shutouts this season.
“We practice a lot of set plays, and that’s how we scored both goals (Wednesday).”
Loza and senior midfielder Sergio Pliego each had opportunities to score in the first half, but Tustin goalkeeper Mark Vasquez turned them away.
Tustin (6-8-4) didn’t get off a shot until late in the first half at the 37th minute. Lancers senior goalie Alex Leon dove to the goal post and made the save. It turned out to be the Tillers’ only shot of the game on goal.
La Serna, which has 14 seniors on its roster, was led defensively by Alex Alfaro, junior Alex Aslanian, Efrain Hernandez and freshman Alex Vasquez.