LA MIRADA 3, BELLFLOWER 0
LA MIRADA — La Mirada High School’s slow start to the Suburban League girls soccer season, which included two draws in its first three games, is now a distant memory.
Nina Powers, Natalie Day and Maddie Bennett each scored a goal as the host Matadores clinched its fourth consecutive league title Tuesday with a 3-0 win over second-place Bellflower.
La Mirada, which hasn’t lost a league game since 2012, improved to 14-4-4 overall and 9-0-2 in league play. The Matadores are ranked No. 1 in CIF Southern Section Division 4. Maria Becerra had six saves for the Buccaneers, who slipped to 7-2-2.
La Mirada, which has won eight consecutive games since back-to-back draws to Mayfair and Bellflower in January, took control early. Powers gathered in a loose ball just inside the penalty area and put it to the right of Becerra for a 1-0 lead in the first minute.
The Matadores pushed their lead to 2-0 in the 38th minute. Day, following a checking foul, made a perfect free kick that eluded Becerra in the top left corner of the goal.
La Mirada’s Natalie Day: “It’s a really big deal. Coming back from last (season’s CIF-SS championship), we definitely had high expectations. I think we came back (from earlier in the season) and have done real well. We’ve been working real hard, so we deserve it.”
Bellflower coach Justin Schroeder: “We gave up a goal in the first five (of the game), the last five (of the first half) and the last five (of the second half). I think if we didn’t give up those early and late goals, it could have been a different game, I don’t know. But that (first goal) was huge. Playing behind against La Mirada is a tough task to come back.”
— Stephen Ramirez
BELLFLOWER 5, LA MIRADA 0
BELLFLOWER >> Bellflower might be the hottest boys soccer team in the CIF Southern Section right now after the Buccaneers won their eighth straight game on Tuesday in dominant fashion, 5-0, over visiting La Mirada.
The victory means Bellflower (16-4-1, 9-2-0), currently ranked No. 4 in Division 4, can clinch the Suburban League title with a win over Mayfair at home on Thursday. La Mirada (11-8-3, 7-4-0) fell behind second-place Artesia.
“I feel like this team really just started playing three or four games ago,” Bellflower head coach Brad Norman said. His team won the CIF-SS Division 4 championship last season after finishing third in the Suburban League.
— JJ Fiddler