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Vikings advance to finals

Two straight wins puts Vikes in Hart Showcase title game

Posted: December 27, 2008 9:57 p.m.
Updated: December 28, 2008 4:55 a.m.

The Valencia girls soccer team continued its strong play at the Hart Showcase Tournament by winning two more games on Saturday and clinching a berth in the tournament championship.

The Vikings (8-4-1) beat Louisville and Crescenta Valley by twin scores of 3-0, and will face Chaminade at 9 a.m. Monday at Hart High School for the title.

In the afternoon tilt, Valencia was again plagued by a slow start.

“Our consistency at the start of the game has been really rough,” said Valencia head coach Sean O’Connell. “The first 15 minutes, we’re just trying to figure out what we’re doing, and all of a sudden, something switches and we go.”

Vikings midfielder Kristin Bos was open at the far post on several plays, but her teammates couldn’t find her until Hannah Hicks played a ball through and Bos beat the keeper one-on-one.

“When Kristin gets one-on-one with the keeper, it’s almost like a PK,” O’Connell said. “She’s so cool under pressure, it’s like she’s got ice in her veins.”

The second goal came from Nicolette Smith, who collided with the keeper on a through-ball but got up and slid it into the net.

Hicks helped orchestrate the third goal by playing a ball to Kelly Deckers, who found Bos for a one-timer to set the final.

“Smith has been battling back from an ACL reconstruction, and it was just sheer will on her part,” O’Connell said. “The last goal, that’s the kind of combination play with the level of talent and soccer IQ we have that we can create all the time.”

Hart (11-4-1) could have earned itself a chance to play for the tournament championship, but the Indians allowed a goal in their Saturday morning game, a 9-1 victory over Birmingham. That goal gave Crescenta Valley a spot in the default semifinal against Valencia.

The afternoon also provided a fruitful result for Hart. After a scoreless first half, the Mallory Utley scored a goal off a pass from Alli Carivau, and then Utley assisted Katie Trevino on the Indians’ second goal to earn a 2-0 win over Palmdale.

Given Hart’s injury problems, head coach Mike Gomez was pleased.

“We have about two or three girls who were injured,” he said, “and we played very well this game. We had a lot of combination play. Everything we were talking about working on, we put together.”

Trevino scored five goals in the morning game, and Carivau had a hat trick.

Overall, Gomez was encouraged with the Indians’ performance at the tournament.

“We’re very happy with everyone’s performance,” he said. “We put some young ladies in different positions. We had a freshman, Kelsey Steck, come up from JV and help us out and she did amazingly well.”

The Canyon girls finished the tournament with a 2-1 loss to Chaminade and a 1-0 victory over Golden Valley, and the Grizzlies also fell to Paraclete 3-0 in the afternoon.

On the boys’ side, Valencia dropped a 2-1 decision to Glendale, while Hart tied Saugus 1-1. The Centurions also defeated L.A. Baptist 4-2.

Knight of Palmdale will face Glendale in the boys’ championship at 11 a.m. Monday.


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