San Gabriel Mission High School cappedrna dominant season with a convincing 4-0 victory over Rialto March 2 to win thernDivision 6 CIF-Southern Section championship in girls’ soccer, the Pioneers’rnsecond straight CIF title.
J.Serra followed suit March 3 at WarrenrnHS in Downey with a thrilling 1-0 victory over Santa Margarita — the team whichrnhad handed the Greg Baker-coached Lions their only defeat of the season — to winrnthe Division 1 crown for the second year in a row.
In boys’ soccer, Cathedral lost itsrnDivision 1 final to Santa Barbara, 3-2, on penalty kicks, after the teams hadrnplayed to a scoreless tie in regulation and two overtimes March 3 at Warren HS.rnThe fifth-ranked Phantoms ended their season 18-4-3, while second-ranked SantarnBarbara finished 18-4-6.
SG Mission: Too much Lopez
San Gabriel Mission (ranked No. 1 inrnDivision 6 all season) finished 27-1-2, and won their last 16 games under CoachrnFrancisco Lopez. In the final March 2 at Corona HS against unseeded Rialto, thernPioneers were led by sisters Juliana and Isabella Lopez (Francisco’s nieces)rnand their cousin Alyssa Lopez (Francisco’s daughter), who collaborated on allrnfour goals.
Juliana scored first (in the 29thrnminute), followed by Alyssa (in the first minute of the second half), and thenrnIsabella and Juliana again (both in the last 10 minutes). Given that Alyssa isrnone of just two seniors on the team (Juliana is a junior, Isabella arnsophomore), the Pioneers, who will also return 2017’s D-7 Player of the YearrnMelissa Estrada, are well-equipped to continue their success in 2019.
J.Serra: Defense matters
For J.Serra (19-1-4), the differencernwas its typically sturdy defense and junior striker Isabella D’Aquila, Divisionrn1 Player of the Year in 2017, who tallied the game’s only goal in the 54thrnminute following an assist from Abby Lynch. It was D’Aquila’s 35th goal of thernseason, and the first against Santa Margarita in 12 games.
SantarnMargarita, whose 1-0 win over J.Serra on Feb. 1 gave the Eagles the TrinityrnLeague title, was seeking its seventh CIF championship, including D-1 crowns inrn2014 and 2016.