Hopes are high among 33 Catholic school girls’ soccer and water polo teams from the Los Angeles Archdiocese and Orange Diocese for CIF-Southern Section titles in 2019.

Playoff brackets for girls’ soccer and water polo were announced Feb. 2 by the CIF-SS, with action commencing this week. (Separate articles will preview the boys’ soccer and boys’ and girls’ basketball playoffs). 

Girls’ soccer

Undefeated J.Serra, the 2018 defending Division 1 champion and top-ranked D-1 team in much of 2019, leads 24 Catholic teams into the playoffs that last year also produced a D-6 champion in San Gabriel Mission (this year competing in D-4). All wild-card matches are Feb. 4, and first-round matches are Feb. 6.

Division 1: In first-round play, J.Serra (15-0-3, Trinity League No. 1) hosts Rancho Cucamonga (15-6); Santa Margarita (9-4-8, Trinity No. 2) is at Northwood (11-6-3); and Mater Dei (9-3-3, Trinity No. 3) is at Cypress (13-4-8).

D-2: Bishop Amat (15-3-4, Del Rey No. 1) hosts Valencia (9-7-4), and Rosary Academy (10-6-5, Trinity at-large) is at Redlands East Valley (11-5-4) in Round 1.

D-3: Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks (Mission No. 3) plays a wild-card match at Santa Monica, the winner advancing to the first round. Round 1 matches include Alemany (13-4, Sunshine co-No. 1) hosting Oxnard (15-5-7), Bishop Montgomery (9-8, Del Rey co-No. 2) at North Torrance (14-8), and Flintridge Sacred Heart (7-4-3, Mission No. 2) at Dos Pueblos (12-5-6).  

D-4: Immaculate Heart (10-7-3, Sunshine co-No. 1) hosts La Salle (13-5, Del Rey co-No. 2), and San Gabriel Mission (17-7-1, Horizon No. 1) hosts Ocean View (Golden West No. 2).

D-5: La Reina (10-3-3, Tri-Valley co-No. 1) hosts Westridge (7-6-4), and St. Anthony (14-8-1, Camino Real co-No. 1) hosts Schurr (8-3-3) in Round 1.

D-6: Alverno Heights Academy (Horizon No. 3) hosts Academy of Academic Excellence in a wild-card match, the winner advancing to play at Pomona Catholic (19-4, Camino Real co-No. 1) in Round 1.

D-7: In wild-card play, Cornelia Connelly (Academy No. 5) is at Hawthorne MSA. First-round matches feature St. Monica Academy (9-7, Heritage No. 3) at Mary Star of the Sea (9-5-1, Santa Fe No. 1), St. Mary’s Academy (9-10-3, Caminio Real No. 3) at Samueli Academy (14-6-2), St. Bonaventure (6-11-1, Tri-Valley No. 3) at Dunn (9-4), Ramona Convent (13-8-2, Horizon No. 2) hosting Rancho Alamitos (9-7-4), Santa Clara (6-2-4, Frontier co-No. 2) at Garey (11-7-3), and St. Pius X-St. Matthias (4-9-3, Santa Fe No. 2) hosting Desert Mirage (15-3-4). 

Finals in all divisions are scheduled Feb. 22 and 23.

Girls’ water polo

Nine Catholic teams are in the mix for seven division titles that will be decided Feb. 16. The 2018 CIF-SS champions included Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks (D-5) and Marymount (D-7); both have moved to higher divisions in 2019.

Division 1: The eight-team bracket includes Mater Dei (16-8-1, Trinity League No. 3) at Laguna Beach (25-1) on Feb. 7. Semifinals are Feb. 13 and finals Feb. 16.

D-2: Santa Margarita (16-8, Trinity No. 1) received a first-round bye and plays its first match in the quarterfinals Feb. 9.

D-3: In wild-card play Feb. 5, Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks (Mission No. 2) hosts Rio Mesa, and St. Lucy’s (Baseline No. 2) hosts Temescal Canyon. Winners advance to Round 1 Feb. 6.

D-4: Alemany (14-8, Mission No. 4) is at Ventura in Round 1 Feb. 5.

D-5: Marymount (16-8, Mission No. 3) is at Santa Ana Valley in Round 1 Feb. 5.

D-6: In first-round matches Feb. 5, Mayfield (7-12, Prep No. 4) is at Arcadia. Villanova Prep (19-7, Tri-Valley No. 1) has a first-round bye and plays the Cypress-Torrance winner on Feb. 7 in Round 2.

D-7: Pomona Catholic (11-3, Montview No. 1) hosts a wild-card winner (Redondo Union or Temple City) in Round 1 Feb. 6.


Mike Nelson is the former editor of The Tidings (predecessor of Angelus News). 

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