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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW – Artesia girls soccer flat against Bolsa Grande in first round exit

May 13, 2021

By Loren Kopff • @LorenKopff on Twitter


GARDEN GROVE-After missing out on the CIF-Southern Section playoffs last season, the Artesia High girls soccer team was fortunate to advance to the postseason in the crazy 2021 pandemic season. The Lady Pioneers finished in third place in the 605 League and were supposed to host Inglewood High this past Monday in a Division 6 wild card game.

But Inglewood forfeited the game, thus putting Artesia into the first round against Bolsa Grande High, the ninth ranked team in the division. The visitors were completely dominated by the Garden Grove League co-champions in a 3-0 loss this past Wednesday at Bolsa Stadium. It was the second playoff game for Artesia in the past five seasons.

“We got the [playoff] spot based on results, but performance-wise, I felt like we should have finished in second place and probably gotten a better seed,” said Artesia head coach Hugo Umana on making the playoffs.

The Lady Pioneers (7-6-1) were limited to one shot on goal and were blanked for the fifth time this season. All the offense the Matadors needed came off the foot of leading scorer Ximena Barreras, who scored in the 22nd minute on a free kick from 25 yards out, and again in the 66th minute. The final goal came from Isabella Vargas two minutes into injury time. Bolsa Grande collected 13 shots in the game.

Another key factor in the game was the high number of fouls Artesia had, which was 12, opposed to the eight called on Bolsa Grande. It was one of those 12 that directly resulted in the first goal.

“I think it’s unfortunate because I felt like the fouls were definitely one-sided,” Umana said. “That definitely paused the game and we’re a team that’s going to play the ball on the ground and have possession of the ball. It not only affects the game, but it affects your morale and the way you play the game because the way the refs are dictating the game.”

Bolsa Grande entered the game outscoring its opponents 41-4 and had posted eight shutouts. Still, the fact that the Lady Pioneers didn’t play the wild card game, thus giving them one full week between games, didn’t bother Umana.

“At the end of the season, the less games you have, the better,” Umana said. “Just because you don’t want to risk any injuries. As it is, when you get to the playoffs, you’re already banged up. For us, it was better time to prepare.”

In other girls soccer playoff action, Cerritos High, the first place representatives from the 605 League for the third straight season and ranked third in Division 4, fell to Temescal Canyon High 2-1 this past Wednesday in first round action. The Lady Dons, whose lone tally came from senior Kylee Castro in the 29th minute, end their season at 10-1-0. Cerritos allowed eight goals all season and the two scored this past Wednesday were the most it had surrendered since Apr. 1, a 4-3 win at Gahr High.

Also in Division 4, second ranked Valley Christian High won its 12th straight game and improved to 14-0-2 following a 2-0 win against Immaculate Heart this past Wednesday. The Defenders, Olympic League champions, will face the winner of the Palm Desert High/Mayfield High game today.

In Division 2 action, fourth ranked La Mirada High knocked off Palos Verdes High 1-0 this past Wednesday to improve to 11-0-2 and winners of eight straight contests. The Lady Matadores will play either Mission Viejo High or Paloma Valley High in today’s second round action.


Five area teams began their quest on May 13 for a CIF-SS divisional championship. Artesia, winners of the 605 League for the third straight season and ranked seventh in Division 5, hosted Hawthorne High. The Pioneers ended the regular season at 8-3-0. Also in the division, eighth ranked V.C. was home to Foothill Tech High, hoping to win a ninth straight game. The Defenders were 13-1-1 in the regular season.

In Division 2 action, Norwalk High, which finished in second place in the Suburban League and entered the playoffs with an 8-3 mark, visited Saddleback High, the champions of the Orange Coast League.

La Mirada, ranked eighth in Division 3 and which won the Suburban League, took its 10-2-0 record into its home game against Northwood High while in Division 6 action, Whitney High (5-2-1), tied for second in the 605 League, entertained de Toledo High.

All second round action games will be played on Saturday with the quarterfinals taking place on Wednesday.


The regular season ends on May 22 and a lot of area teams are still jockeying for first place positions or playoff spots. In the 605 League, Cerritos has the inside track of winning the circuit for the third straight season. The Dons knocked off Whitney 68-31 this past Wednesday to improve to 8-3 overall and 7-0 in league. Cerritos will host Pioneer High tonight, travel to John Glenn High on Tuesday before ending the regular season on Thursday against Oxford Academy.

Artesia and Whitney are fighting for third place and the league’s final automatic berth. Artesia entered this past Wednesday’s game with Oxford Academy at 11-6 overall and 3-3 in league while Whitney was 2-3 in league. Artesia is scheduled to visit Whitney tonight, travel to Pioneer on Tuesday before concluding the regular season two days later against Glenn. Whitney is scheduled to go to Pioneer on Monday and Oxford Academy on Tuesday before entertaining Pioneer on Thursday.

V.C. has a chance to claim one of the Olympic League’s automatic playoff berths but would need to defeat Heritage Christian High on the road tonight, then Whittier Christian High at home on Wednesday. The Defenders enter tonight at 8-5 overall and 1-4 in league.


If Cerritos is to have a chance of finishing on top of the 605 League, it would need to win out and have Pioneer lose its last three games of the regular season. Entering tonight’s game with the Titans, Cerritos was 5-6 overall and 4-2 in league while Pioneer had won all seven league contests.

Whitney was sitting pretty with a 4-1 league mark but is scheduled to play five games next week in as many days, beginning with a road game at Artesia on Monday. After that, the Lady Wildcats travel to Oxford Academy, host Cerritos and Pioneer before ending the regular season at Glenn.

V.C. was a game out second place at 5-8 overall, 2-3 in the Olympic League as it travelled to league-leading Heritage Christian tonight. The Lady Defenders will also host second place Whittier Christian on Wednesday.