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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW : Cerritos girls soccer ties Gahr in final minutes but leaves game frustrated

By Loren Kopff • @LorenKopff on Twitter

The gap between the Cerritos High and Gahr High girls soccer programs moved a bit closer as the annual city rivalry game ended in a 1-1 tie this past Tuesday evening. What was once completely dominated by Cerritos has now turned more competitive.

Gahr held a lead for over half the game, but with time running out for the Lady Dons, sophomore defender Natalie Villa took the team’s second corner kick of the half and sent the ball to sophomore midfielder Persephone Diep who passed to sophomore midfielder Camryn Camacho. Her header got past Gahr senior netminder Ashley Correia for the equalizer five minutes remaining in the contest.

“I think today it was just a matter of us not playing the way that we know how to play,” said Cerritos assistant coach Brittany Barr. “It’s a young team; we’re growing, we’re building. It’s not going to be an instant success every single game. But we’re looking to build, and we really didn’t build in this game. I think that’s why we’re frustrated more than anything.”

Throughout most of the first half, the Lady Dons (2-1-3) tried to keep up with a speedy Gahr team but couldn’t get too many scoring chances. Three minutes into the game, Diep’s shot just went off to the right of the net, and in the 10thminute, Diep fed a pass to senior forward Jayda Anusasanananta who’s shot was denied by Correia on a diving save. Cerritos would get one more shot in the half and three more in the second half.
Meanwhile, Gahr’s franchise player, junior forward Nicholette Palomo, got her team’s lone tally in the 30thminute as she used her speed to race down the right side of the field and fired a shot that found the left side of the net.

“She’s a very talented player,” Barr said. “But with four defenders against her, we should be able to take care of whoever it is back there, and we didn’t. We let her get loose a few times and that could make a difference between a tie and a win. She’s good, but we made her look even better than she probably is by our own mistakes, which is the reason again why we’re not super thrilled right now.”

Cerritos was able to hold the seventh ranked team in the CIF-Southern Section Division 5 poll without a shot in the second half. Gahr (7-1-1), which travelled to Valley Christian High on Dec. 19, will complete action in the Best in the West Tournament with its first game against Temple City High on Saturday.

Cerritos would host Portola High on Dec. 19 and finish play in the Best in the West Tournament on Saturday with a pair of the games, the first against Murrieta Mesa High. 

“It’s been a little bit inconsistent, but it’s just going to be the way that it is,” Barr said of the team through the first six games. “It’s a different team. We lost a lot of seniors last year and we’re figuring out where players are. We’re also a little bit injured right now, and that doesn’t help us. But the goal is to be peaking as we head into league and into [the playoffs]. We have a pretty front-loaded schedule.”

In other girls soccer action, Artesia High is still searching for its first win and has scored two goals in seven games played. The Lady Pioneers hosted Norwalk High on Dec. 19 and will face Santa Fe High on Saturday in the first of two games of the Best in the West Tournament. Norwalk is 4-4-1 after falling to Chino High 5-1 this past Monday.

Valley Christian High is also in the Best in the West Tournament where it edged La Habra High 2-1 and tied Marlborough High 1-1 last Saturday. The Lady Defenders (3-1-2), ranked fifth in Division 5, will face Santa Ynez High on Saturday in the first of two games in the tournament. They will also participate in the Ontario Christian Tournament, which begins on Thursday, where they will play Chino.


Cerritos, ranked ninth in the CIF-Southern Section Division 3AA poll, improved to 8-3 following a 60-48 win against Downey High this past Tuesday at Staples Center. The Dons will host city rival Gahr tonight before heading off to the Mt. Carmel Tournament on Thursday.

Gahr is 8-4 and have played in four tournaments thus far. After the Cerritos game, the Gladiators will meet Palm Springs High on Thursday in pool play action of the Rancho Mirage Tournament.

John Glenn High will continue its rivalry with Norwalk, even though the two are no longer in the same league, with a game tonight. The Eagles (3-7) will also kick off the Showcase on Shoemaker event with pool play games against Corona High on Monday and Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary High on Thursday.

Norwalk is coming off a pair of heartbreaking losses to conclude the Bellflower Buc Pride Classic. The shorthanded Lancers lost to Culver City High by a point last Friday, then fell to Leuzinger High by four points the next night to go to 4-7. After their game with Glenn, the Lancers will compete in the Anaheim Tournament next weekend. 

Valley Christian suffered its first loss of the season, a 64-58 setback to Newport Harbor High last Saturday in the championship game of the St. Margaret’s Tournament. The Defenders (11-1) are tied for the top spot in Division 3A and will host Van Nuys High on Saturday before facing Arleta High on Thursday in pool play action of the San Pedro Pirate Shootout.


Artesia remains on top of the Division 5AA poll as the Lady Pioneers took their 10-0 record into their Dec. 19 road game at Mountain View High. They will also host Elsinore High tonight.

Cerritos dropped a 48-42 decision to Peninsula High last Thursday to even its mark at 5-5. The Lady Dons will visit Ayala High on Thursday in pool play action of the Best of the West Tournament.

Gahr (3-8) visited Garden Grove High on Dec. 19 and will face Vista Murrieta High in pool play action of the Best of the West Tournament at Ayala while Glenn (8-4) has won two in a row and will host Norwalk this evening before facing Aliso Niguel High on Monday and Marina High on Thursday in pool play action of the Larry Doyle/Dan Wiley Tournament.

Norwalk began a stretch of three games in as many nights by hosting Anaheim High on Dec. 19. The Lady Lancers (6-3) will then visit Glenn tonight and Hacienda Heights Wilson High on Saturday before competing in the Buena Park Tournament beginning on Monday.

Valley Christian will also participate in the Larry Doyle/Dan Wiley Tournament where it will play Edison High on Monday and Segerstrom High on Thursday.

Whitney High fell to Norco High 54-39 in the first game of the Savanna Winter Classic this past Wednesday to fall to 3-8. The Lady Wildcats played St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy on Dec. 19 and will meet the host school today.


Artesia slammed Bolsa Grande High 8-2 this past Monday to improve to 4-2-1. The Pioneers, who have scored 25 goals, hosted Ganesha High on Dec. 18 and will visit Santa Fe today before hosting Norwalk on Monday.

Cerritos fell to Gahr 1-0 in the back end of a girls-boys doubleheader this past Tuesday and dropped to 2-5. The Dons will visit Marina today while Gahr is off until Dec. 30 when it hosts Wilson High.

Glenn lost to Troy High 6-2 this past Monday and hosted La Mirada High on Dec. 19. The Eagles (1-3-2) will also visit Valley Christian this evening while Norwalk, ranked 10thin Division 3, edged Chino 2-1 this past Tuesday and hosted Garden Grove on Dec. 19. The Lancers (6-2-1) will also visit La Serna High on Saturday before meeting Artesia.

Whitney (4-3) got by Mayfair High 2-1 last Friday and faced Samuelli Academy on Dec. 19.