GRIFFIN SPORTS: Girls Soccer wins, advances to quarters against H-W

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(Photo courtesy of by Tracey Roman, and SoCal newspaper Group)

The Los Al Girls Soccer team will move on to the CIF quarterfinals on the leg and solid shot of Marissa Salazar, as the Griffins downed cross-moat rival Millikan 1-0 Wednesday night at Los Al High.

The Griffin win avenged a season-opening 2-1 loss to the Rams and set up a date with Np. 3 seed Harvard-Westlake on Saturday.  Game time is not yet officially posted on the CIF site but will probably be at 5pm on the Wolverine field.   The two teams met on the same field in 2019 in the CIF semi-finals, a contest the Griffins won 3-0.   Two weeks later in the State SoCal semi-finals, the Griffins downed H-W 1-0.

Saturday’s winner will move on to play the victor of the San Clemente-No. 4 seed Temecula Valley quarterfinal contest.  The other two games have No. 1 Santiago traveling to Etiwanda, and No. 4 Villa Park hosting Newport Harbor.

Last night’s contest was, as expected a close affair, with both teams being familiar with the other’s attack.  “It’s more of a chess match because they know what you have, you know what they have,” Rossi said.

Millikan had an aggressive start, but the Griffin defense stayed calm and neautralized .  The offense found some opportunities but their shots were not on goal and the first halfended with a 0-0 score.

Millikan kept their defensive shape but just past the fifteenth minute of the second half, junior Katie Piburn quickly poked a pass that found senior Marissa Salazar down the sideline.   Salazar calmly Salazar deftly cut back inside to giver herself an open crease for a few steps and then sent a rocket into the far net that no high school goalkeeper could stop.  The score gave Los Al all the scoring they would need.

“That shot was next level,” Los Alamitos coach Pat Rossi said of Salazar’s goal. “At practice she’ll do some crazy stuff like that but to do it as a game-winning goal in a game like this is just nutty. I’m super proud of her.”

The goal was Salazar’s 17th of the season, putting her one behind Mimi Abushami.

John Davis of the SoCal News group has more details in the OC Register and Press-Telegram.

And J.J. Fiddler of the 562.org sports has a good recap.

Los Alamitos girls soccer tops Millikan in Division 1 playoffs with Marisa Salazar’s ‘top-notch’ goal

UPDATE:  The CIF announced the coinflips for the CIF semifinals.   If Los Al and Temecula both win, Los Al would automatically host the game; If Los Al and Sam Clemente win, a coin flip would determine the home team.)

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