Semi-final playoff loss ends squad’s undefeated streak

Semi-final playoff loss ends squad’s undefeated streak

#NOPHILTER: Defender Natalie Phillips ’21 prepares to pass the ball while midfielder Whitney Elson ’19 looks on in the 1-0 Senior Night win against Notre Dame High School on Jan. 31. This win capped the Wolverines’ overall record off at 14-0-6. Credit: Lucas Lee/Chronicle

The girls’ soccer team ended its undefeated streak by losing 3-0 at the CIF Southern Section Division I Semi-Finals to Los Alamitos High School on Feb. 16. The squad had an overall record of 17-1-6 and was 7-0-1 in league play, securing them the Mission League Title.

The team’s playoff run lasted four rounds, where the Wolverines beat San Clemente High School 1-0, Santiago Corona High School 5-4 and Cypress High School 3-0 in the quarterfinals before the loss to Los Alamitos in the semi-finals.

“[Los Alamitos] gave us a very competitive match,” defender KK Bishop ’19 said. “I’m sure that if we play them again, we will take it to them even harder.”

The Wolverines’ game against Santiago Corona remained scoreless through regulation, first and second overtimes, which sent the game into penalty kicks. The Wolverines secured a 5-4 win through penalty kicks along with three key saves by goalkeeper Devon Carmel ’21.

“Beating Santiago is one of my favorite memories of the season,” forward Samantha Morris ’21 said. “It was definitely one of our most competitive and exciting games, requiring so much teamwork and determination to finally pull out the win.”

The Wolverines beat Cypress 3-0 on Feb. 12 with goals from Daniela Quintero ’22, Whitney Elson ’19 and Natalia Quintero ’21.

However, the team was unable to score in its Feb. 16 semi-final match against Los Alamitos, marking only the third game of the season in which the Wolverines did not put up any points and the first loss of the season.
Players said the squad thrived due to its offense and experience, outscoring opponents 54-20 overall this season, but only had a goal differential of 9-7 in the CIF playoffs.

“We have a very deep team, so anyone on the bench can come on the field and make a positive impact,” Bishop said. “We have all bonded this season, so we have great chemistry which leads to good performance on the field. However, we have a lot of young players who aren’t as experienced but have been able to adjust very quickly to the competitiveness of high school soccer and what it means to play for your school.”

Players said that the highlight of their season was going 2-0-2 in the National Elite Prep Showcase in Texas. Additionally, they posted a 1-1 draw against Southlake Carroll High School, the number one team in Texas according to program head Richard Simms.

“We became even closer with each other during the tournament while rooming with one another,” Morris said. “It was an incredibly fun experience and a valuable opportunity to play against talented opponents from across the country.”

The team has qualified for the 2019 CIF Regional Soccer Championships, a tournament that begins on Feb. 26.

“For the regional tournament, we have been practicing hard,” Bishop said. “I wouldn’t say we are trying to change anything about our playing style, but we are trying to improve the fundamentals that make us such a great team and have allowed us to get this far.”

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