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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW: Valley Christian girls soccer surrenders goal in closing minutes to Mayfair

By Loren Kopff
@LorenKopff on Twitter

Valley Christian High girls head soccer coach Kim Looney hasn’t beaten backyard neighbor Mayfair High in such a long time that she would have been happy with a tie when the two teams met this past Tuesday night at Crusader Field. Since she took over during the 2001-2002 season, Looney has defeated the Monsoons twice, with the last time coming back on Dec. 7, 2010, a 5-0 win at Mayfair.

In fact, the Lady Crusaders have not defeated Mayfair at home under Looney’s watch and that steak will continue. With five minutes remaining in the game, Haley Davis took a crossing pass and from the left side of the field, found a spot between the far post and the left side of V.C. senior goalkeeper Destinee Montenegro, which held up in a 1-0 affair.

“We played scared the first 10 minutes of the [game],” Looney said. “We were just trying to figure it out. We knew it would be the toughest team we’ve gone up against and it was going to take us awhile to respond and figure it out. Going into the second half, we knew what we needed to do. If we could get out of the initial 10 minutes of the second half, then we can play right with them. But they always say the last five minutes of any half are the most crucial and 5:13, there you go.”

Both teams were coming in ranked third in their respective divisions in the California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section polls, Mayfair in Division 3 and V.C. in Division 4 and the first half showed why both teams were solid. Each got off just one shot in the first half and the first legitimate opportunity didn’t come until the 59th minute when Mayfair’s Alyssa Villalobos shot from the right side was punched out by Montenegro as she dove to her right. The follow-up attempt from Amanda Scott then sailed too high.

To make matters worse, Mayfair’s goal came with only 10 players as one had been ejected moments earlier. Villalobos then had a chance to ice the game in stoppage time, but her shot clanked off the crossbar and down to the hands of Montenegro.

“We were getting tired and they were not,” Looney said. “And they took advantage of that and as much as we were working as hard as we could, we just couldn’t keep up with it. They had us fitness-wise the last 10 minutes.”

The Lady Crusaders, who fell to 5-2, have been rock solid this season despite not playing tough competition up until the Mayfair contest. Still, V.C. has outscored its foes 21-4 and a lot of the talk has been about sophomore midfielder Megan Bouma, who leads the team with eight goals, the brand new midfield or the stingy defense.

“[Senior] Carli [Domino] is the heart and soul of our defense,” Looney said. “As much as she doesn’t talk, she leads with her play. We added Sophia Schrock, who is a freshman this year [and] has added a lot of speed and a nice left foot. [Senior] Marysa [Garner] has been consistent for me for four years. [Junior] Christina [Pollard] and [senior] Caity [Wind] are filling in the back and half and Destinee and [sophomore goalkeeper] Cassidy [Samuelson] have been doing a nice job. Destinee stepped up tonight and this by far was her best game this season.”

V.C. visited St. Anthony High this past Wednesday and shut out the Saints 4-0 behind a hat trick from Bouma, now up to 11 goals. The Lady Crusaders will conclude the Best in the West Winter Classic with a pair of games on Saturday, the first against San Gabriel Mission High and the second against either Garden Grove High or Santa Fe High.

In other girls soccer action, four other area schools are also in the Best in the West Winter Classic. Artesia High (1-4-1) will face Hoover High and either Bellflower High or New West Charter High, then begin Suburban League play at Bellflower on Monday.

Cerritos High, which was blanked by Warren High 6-0 this past Tuesday, hosted Cypress High on Dec. 14 and will square off against Westminster High on Saturday, followed by a game against either Santa Ana High or California High. The Lady Dons (3-3-1) will visit La Mirada High on Wednesday.

Gahr High was blanked by Marina High 6-0 this past Tuesday and will visit Montebello High for the first game on Saturday before seeing either Carson High or Pioneer High kin the second game. The Lady Gladiators (3-3-1) will also host Savanna High on Tuesday.

John Glenn High (0-4-1) will host Mayfair on Monday, visit Dominguez High on Tuesday and come back home to face Norwalk High on Wednesday. Norwalk (2-6) will play Ramona Convent High on Saturday, followed by either Glendale High or El Rancho High later in the day. The Lady Lancers open league play at home against La Mirada while Whitney High (3-1-1) will host Buena Park High on Thursday.


The marquee game will be tonight when Cerritos and Gahr renew their longstanding city rivalry at Cerritos. The two teams played in the third place game of their co-hosted tournament last Saturday with Gahr (4-4) edging the Dons 56-55. Cerritos (5-3) will then visit La Mirada.

Artesia (5-3) will visit Bellflower on Monday and host Garey High and Ganesha High on Wednesday and Thursday respectively.

Glenn (6-4) visited Paramount High on Dec. 14 and will host Mayfair on Monday and Norwalk on Wednesday while Valley Christian is off to a 7-1 start following an 83-80 win against Bishop Amat High in the Bellflower Tournament. The Crusaders will host Marshall Fundamental on Thursday.


All Suburban League teams will precede their boys’ games on Monday and Wednesday. In addition, Artesia (6-1) will wrap up its own tournament on Saturday, Cerritos (6-2) will visit North Torrance High on Saturday night and Valley Christian (3-4) will finish its own tournament tonight before hosting South Hills High on Thursday.