By Aaron Valdez
Just a few weeks ago, the La Salle girls’ soccer was having a turbulent time treading the waters of tough Del Rey League schedule.
Throughout the entire season, the Lancers would hover either slightly above or around a .500 win percentage. However, that all came to a sudden change when their backs were against the wall in the regular-season finale against Bishop Montgomery on Jan. 30.
It was a must-win game for La Salle if it wanted to finish in second place over Bishop Montgomery, who seemed to hold all the aces being that it won the first meeting over the Lancers 2-0. Nevertheless, the Lancers made their biggest statement of the season by defeating Bishop Montgomery 3-0 to take second place and qualify for the CIF-SS Division 4 playoffs with a 4-4 league record.
This victory skyrocketed the Lancers’ confidence to new heights as they’ve since battled their way through the first four rounds of the CIF bracket. From the first round to the semifinals, La Salle beat Immaculate Heart 5-3, Montclair 4-2, Windward 1-0 and Palm Desert 1-0 at home on Saturday.
Celine Akroush was the only player to scratch in the semis but her lone goal in the 26th minute of the first half was all the Lancers needed to secure their place in the championship game.
Now, a daunting match-up awaits for the Lancers in the finals as the powerhouse St. Margaret’s Tartans have put together a tremendous season thus far.
The Tartans have only lost once this year and finished the season with a 20-1-4 record while easily taking the San Joaquin League crown at 7-0-1. The Lancers and Tartans shared a mutual opponent this season in Bishop Amat as St. Margaret’s tied them 1-1 on Jan. 26 while La Salle lost to them twice in league action, each time by a 2-0 margin.
The CIF-SS Division 4 championship between La Salle and St. Margaret’s girls’ soccer will take place Friday at 5 p.m. at St. Margaret’s High School (San Juan Capistrano).