The Los Alamitos girls soccer team parlayed a dominating
LaParl scored two
The Griffins, the No. 2 seed in the brackets, will next take on No. 1 seed JSerra which advanced to the finals via a 3-1 win over No. 4 seed Villa Park. Los Al will be seeking its fourth CIF title in five trips (they won in 1996, 1997 and 2005 and reached the finals in 2009).
The two teams are no strangers, with many players from both teams being teammates on the SoCal Blues club soccer team which is coached by JSerra coach Greg Baker.
The Griffins were never in trouble against Harvard-Westlake, although the Wolverines started off the match with a pressing offense shape which Los Al had not seen much this year. Nerves may have played an early factor as first touches were less quality than would be expected by both teams, and defense for the most part ruled. This situation was certainly influenced by the narrow confines of the Harvard-Westlake field. The Griffins couldn’t spread the ball around as much as they would at home or on a larger field.
The Los Al defense turned in its fourth straight playoff shutout, but sophomore goalkeeper Reezyn Turk, who hasn’t been that busy in her first three playoff marches, certainly came up big for Los Al, making three strong saves in the first half and a couple more in the second.
Both sides had opportunities in the first half, with the Griffins slowly gaining control of the match. But still, the score was 0-0 at halftime.
The Griffins made a few adjustments during the break and came out with a far more aggressive scheme — eschewing some aesthetics for a more direct attack against the bunkered Harvard-Westlake defense. The Griffin players fired shots — which paid immediate dividends. Two minutes into the second half, the Griffins drew a foul from about 35 yards out. Analisa Gjonich’s
Harvard-Westlake looked ready to equalize in the 56th minute when Whitney Elson volleyed a powerful right-footed strike that Turk deflected away with Turk’s right hand in the 56th minute. .
Los Al had a few more great chances but couldn’t finish them until the 62nd minute when the Harvard
Nine minutes later Barnett collected another loose ball and split the defenders to find LaParl who still fought off two defenders and fired a shot into the nets to make it 3-0.
Los Alamitos, the Surf League champions, improved its record to 26-0-4 overall. JSerra, the Trinity league champs, will bring an 18-0-3 mark into the final match which will be played at Warren High School next Saturday. Game time is to be determined.
And for more coverage and photos of the game…