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Valley Christian girls soccer snaps scoreless streak, edges Marlborough

By Loren Kopff

While the Valley Christian girls soccer team had one of its better December’s, and now early January’s, in a few years, the 2013-2014 squad had also recently gone through an unusual scoreless slump. Head coach Kim Looney has had to shuffle her lineup around several times thus far and the latest move paid off this past Tuesday evening against Marlborough.

Just 10 minutes into the contest, senior forward Janae Megorden snapped her team’s scoreless streak that lasted over 275 minutes with the game’s first goal and the Lady Crusaders held on for a 2-1 victory.

V.C. had not scored since the first half of a 2-0 victory over Don Lugo on Dec. 26 in a second round game of the Ontario Christian Tournament. Since then, V.C. was blanked by Crean Lutheran 3-0 and Ontario Christian 1-0 in the tournament, then played Crean Lutheran to a scoreless tie last Saturday.

“We have struggled, just offensively, this season to score,” Looney said. “I have a lot of workhorses but I don’t really have anybody who has the nose for the goal. They’ll work for the ball but I don’t have a finisher.

“It’s finally nice to break through,” Looney added. “I’m glad that it was Janae that did it. Janae’s had just a great season; probably her best season in four years. She deserved that goal.”

Megorden’s goal was her sixth of the season, tops on a team that has now found the back of the net 22 times in 16 games. The Lady Crusaders had a chance to add to their lead shortly before halftime but came up empty on both occasions. In the 37th minute, a shot from senior forward Grayce DeGroot was blocked by the Mustangs goalkeeper and Megorden’s rebound attempt went over the net. Two minutes later, Megorden fed a nifty pass to sophomore forward Chloe Garris but her shot at a wide open net was a bit too soft.

V.C., though, would get that important second goal in the 65th minute when freshman forward Taylor Brown received a throw-in from DeGroot at the far end of the penalty box and notched her first tally of the season. Marlborough’s lone goal came in the 73rd minute.

“Taylor has played in the goal for me for [the past] 15 games,” Looney said. “I have five kids who are injured. She’s a skilled player on the field and she’s even a better goalkeeper. Because I’ve just been riddled with injuries right now, Taylor was the option to put up front.”

V.C. improved to 9-5-2 and visited La Serna on Jan. 9. The team opens up Olympic League action on Tuesday with a home game against Village Christian. The nine wins are the most outside of league or playoffs since going 10-7-1 during the 2008-2009 season. V.C. had failed to win more than seven nonleague or playoff games combined in each of the past four seasons.

“We posted some early wins and I credit that, honestly, to my core group of seniors,” Looney said. “They came in with this work ethic that the rest of my team has been trying to catch up to. And because of that, we posted some good wins early. We have an opportunity to do well this season. Their goals for this league season are 8-0 and no goals against them.”

In other girls soccer action, Artesia won all four of its games in the Division II bracket of the San Pedro Lady Pirate Cup. Last Thursday, the Pioneers slammed Collin’s Family and Archer School for Girls by identical 8-0 scores. In the first game, senior midfielders Tiffany Castillo and Stephanie Flores scored a pair of goals while Castillo posted four more tallies in the second game while senior midfielder Icseel Ortiz added two goals.

The next day, Artesia (8-3-2) blanked Long Beach Jordan 2-0 as Castillo scored both goals, then edged Paramount 2-1 on tallies from freshman defender Gaby Pinales and Ortiz. The Pioneers, who fell to Bellflower 3-1 in the Suburban League opener this past Wednesday, will visit league favorite La Mirada this evening before hosting Cerritos on Monday.

Norwalk ended its nonleague slate this past Monday with a 3-2 home loss to Whittier. The Lady Lancers (5-4-2) scored in the 15th and 16th minutes courtesy of freshman midfielder Breanna Sandoval and freshman forward Jazmin Gomez. However, the Cardinals scored all of their goals in the second half, the game-winner coming in the 78th minute. Norwalk, which also slammed John Glenn 11-0 this past Wednesday, hosts Mayfair today, Bellflower on Monday and Cerritos on Wednesday.

Cerritos enters league action with a 2-5-1 mark and hosts John Glenn today. The Lady Eagles (3-6-1) will entertain Mayfair on Monday and visit La Mirada on Wednesday. Gahr (1-1-3) visits Warren on Tuesday to begin San Gabriel Valley League action while Whitney (1-4-2) travels to Brethren Christian today and is home to Sage Hill and Crean Lutheran Tuesday and Thursday respectively.

All of the boys soccer teams will play the same opponents as the girls but at the opposite sites.

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Artesia has been one of the area’s pleasant surprises, winning 12 of its first 14 games after easily defeating Downey Calvary Chapel 44-18 last Friday, then opening league action with a 55-38 win over Bellflower this past Wednesday. The Pioneers already have three more wins than all of last season and need to win one more game to assure themselves of a regular season winning campaign for the first time since the 2006-2007 season. Artesia visits La Mirada tonight and Cerritos on Monday night.

Cerritos kicks off its league slate tonight against Glenn before visiting Norwalk on Wednesday. Gahr (7-8) travels to Inglewood tonight before hosting Warren on Wednesday for its San Gabriel Valley League opener. Valley Christian (8-7) makes a road trip to Ontario Christian on Saturday before travelling to Village Christian on Tuesday for its Olympic League opener. Whitney (5-8, 1-0) won its Academy League opener, a 64-34 triumph over Downey Calvary Chapel, this past Tuesday. The Wildcats host Brethren Christian tonight before visiting Sage Hill on Tuesday and Crean Lutheran on Thursday.

All of the girls basketball teams will play before their respective boys’ teams for the upcoming week with the exception of Whitney. The Lady Wildcats (12-2, 1-0 in the Academy League) will host Notre Dame Academy tonight.

 

 

 

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