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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW Artesia girls soccer stumbles against up and coming Norwalk

By Loren Kopff

There are few teams that the Artesia girls soccer program has dominated over the course of time, but one of them is Norwalk. The Pioneers entered last Friday afternoon’s contest having won 12 straight over the Lady Lancers, allowing just three goals during that time.

But three minutes into overtime, Norwalk took advantage of a mistake in the penalty box and came away with a 1-0 win. Norwalk improved to 7-6-2 overall and 3-2 in the Suburban League and vaulted to third place. The Pioneers fell to 9-5-2, 1-3 at the time.

“I haven’t had the opportunity to watch Norwalk [before today’s game] but I heard they were a much improved team,” said Artesia head coach Octavio Marquez. “I was concerned, honestly, going into the game. We’re an inexperienced team.”

Artesia took seven shots on goal in the first half but the closest it came to finding the back of the net came in the 33rd minute when senior midfielder Tiffany Castillo’s shot hit the crossbar. In the 56th minute, a shot from freshman forward Mary Sanchez was stopped by Norwalk junior goalkeeper Cynthia Flores. It would be the only shot Artesia took in the second half.

In the opening moments of overtime, a ball was sent to the penalty box and Artesia junior goalkeeper Cyndie Trejo made the save. But the ball immediately got away from her and junior forward Angie Vega happened to be right there, where she tapped in the game-winner.

“In the first half, I felt we dominated more,” Marquez said. “But in the second half, we kind of let go and it was a little bit more balanced. I give Norwalk credit. They came and they played hard.”

This past Wednesday, the Pioneers took out their frustrations against lowly John Glenn and routed the Lady Eagles 10-0 as Castillo scored six goals while junior defender Michelle Van Wijingaerde added two more goals. It was the most lopsided victory ever against Glenn since a 10-0 win on Jan. 28, 1998.

Artesia, now 10-5-2 overall and 2-3 in the circuit, visits Mayfair today to end the first round of league, then host Cerritos on Wednesday. The Lady Lancers dropped a 4-0 decision to La Mirada this past Wednesday and ended the first round of league action at 3-3 and in third place. Norwalk visits Bellflower on Wednesday as Artesia and Bellflower are fighting for fourth place and that final automatic spot for the postseason.

“It’s not that we’re not putting the effort in,” Marquez said. “It’s just the experience. We don’t have that experience to finish teams off. It’s going to be real difficult. We pretty much have to win out in order to finish in the top four.”

In other girls soccer action, Cerritos fell to Bellflower 2-1 this past Wednesday and dropped to 3-10-1 overall and 1-4 in the Suburban League. The Lady Dons hosted first place La Mirada on Jan. 24. Valley Christian improved to 11-5-3 overall and 2-0 in the Olympic League following a 4-1 win at Heritage Christian this past Tuesday. The Lady Crusaders host Whittier Christian this evening to end the first round of league action.

BOYS SOCCER

Artesia remained in first place in the Suburban League after defeating John Glenn 3-1 this past Wednesday. The Pioneers, who have won three straight league titles, improved to 10-5-4 overall and 3-0-2 in league and will host Mayfair today before visiting Cerritos on Wednesday. Glenn went to 4-9-1 overall and 1-4 in league as it visits Bellflower today and host Mayfair on Wednesday.

Cerritos fell to Bellflower 3-0 this past Wednesday and enters today’s road game at La Mirada with an overall mark of 3-9-2 and 0-5 in league. Norwalk closed out the first round of Suburban League action with a 2-1 loss to La Mirada and heads into its bye at 6-6-2 overall and 2-2-2 in league. The Lancers will host Bellflower on Wednesday.

Valley Christian edged Heritage Christian 2-1 this past Tuesday and enters today’s road trip to Whittier Christian with an overall mark of 8-7-0, 2-0-0 in Olympic League action. The Crusaders have won four straight and six of their last seven.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Cerritos remained in second place in the Suburban League after narrowly defeating Bellflower 62-59 this past Wednesday night. The Dons improved to 11-8 overall and 4-1 in league action. They can remain in second place with a home win against La Mirada tonight. Gahr dropped an 84-72 decision to Downey this past Wednesday night and fell to 9-10 overall, 1-2 in the San Gabriel Valley League. The Gladiators visit Dominguez tonight and Lynwood on Wednesday night. Norwalk (7-14, 1-5) lost to La Mirada 65-50 this past Wednesday night while Valley Christian picked up its first Olympic League victory this past Tuesday night following a 64-51 against Heritage Christian. The Crusaders are 9-12 overall, 1-2 in league and visits Whittier Christian tonight.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Artesia snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 39-37 against John Glenn this past Wednesday night. Junior Onica Yu had a career-high 20 points as the Pioneers (3-16, 1-4) rallied from a 26-16 halftime deficit. Yu also had six rebounds and six steals. Glenn dropped to 3-16 overall and 0-5 in league and has lost five straight since defeating Artesia in the final game of the Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary Cardinal Classic last month.

The surprise team in the area continues to be Valley Christian, which got past heritage Christian 40-35 this past Tuesday night. The Lady Crusaders, who went 1-25 last season and 7-19 two season ago, improved to 9-12 overall and 2-1 in the Olympic League. The Lady Crusaders visit Whittier Christian tonight.

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