By Christopher Abdelmalek
A nearly perfect season came to an end as the Pacifica High girls’ soccer team lost 3-2 to Villa Park High School in the second round of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs Saturday at the Mariner pitch.The loss came in extra time. Aaliyah Farmer led the way for the Spartans with two goals, both in the first half.
The Mariners were down early in this game. They were playing defense the majority of the time was as the Spartans were aggressive on offense, pushing the ball every opportunity they had with it.
Farmer was the leader for Villa Park. She kept the backline busy by keeping possession deep in the Mariners’ end. Her quick moves and quick thinking set up the first goal.
Mariner keeper Riley Westlund made a calculation error on a bounce right in front of her and Farmer took advantage of it and put the Spartans up 1-0 about five minutes into the game.
Less than five minutes later, a communication breakdown allowed Farmer to be left unchecked in the box which allowed her to net her second goal and secured a hefty 2-0 lead.
At halftime, Pacifica Coach Mike Sutton made some changes and urged his team to play more aggressively. “We changed the formation and the fight came back in them,” he said.
The change in the formation was moving Averee Campos from the backline to an attacking controlling mid position. Sutton said “She’s really skillful and aggressive inside which neutralized them a little bit.”
Her quick passing and aggressiveness on 50/50 balls sparked a comeback. Within the first five minutes of the second half the Mariners were whistled for an offside which would have resulted in a goal had it not been called, but the pressure was there. They put the Spartans on their heels and the momentum started to sway.
Rylie Laisy and Campos then began to take over the game. Laisy began to push up from her defensive position and assist Campos in pushing the pace.
This paid off when Laisy stole the ball in the midfield and took it up the left side to set up Campos’ cross to the middle of the box. This was capped with a goal by forwarding Christina Santoyo.
Laisy would then score a goal of her own on a corner kick to tie the game up at 2-2 just over the midway point in the second half. Each team had an opportunity late to score but failed to convert.
The game would go into extra time at 2-2. With the chance to advance further in the playoffs on the line, golden goal rules applied.
After each time fired off shots early, the Spartans eventually scored on a corner kick which was put in by Gracie Vanderscraaf.
Villa Park Coach Breanna Carrillo commented on what she told the team before the extra time. “I just said, ‘Let’s do it, first chance we get, do it’ and they went out there and took care of business.”
Pacifica ended its first season at the Division 1 level going 17-1-2 with its only loss coming in the playoffs.
The M’s also won the Empire League title and were ranked in the CIF-SS top 10, and 15th in the state by MaxPreps.
“It’s a tough one to swallow, but we return eight starters, we will be back,” said Sutton.
Villa Park (18-4) advances to the quarterfinals on Wednesday, hosting Santiago High of Corona. The Sharks advanced with a 4-0 win over Corona del Mar.
Below are scores for CIF-SS playoff results for teams serving the communities of Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Stanton and Westminster. Results are posted as they become available.
Villa Park 3, Pacifica 2 (OT)
Edison 0, Santa Margarita 0 (Edison advances on penalty kicks 5-3).
Marina 2, Brea Olinda 1.
California 2, Santiago 0.
Sierra Canyon 3, Ocean View 0.
Harvard Westlake 67, Huntington Beach 37.
Orangewood Academy 57, Valencia/Valencia 35.
Girls’ water polo
Marina 9, Pasadena 6.
Vasquez 58, Los Amigos 54.
Rancho Alamitos 61, Nordhoff 56.
Dos Pueblos 2, Huntington Beach 0
Santiago/Corona 5, Loara 2
Categories: High school sports