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Last-minute goals propel Cal High and La Serna

WHITTIER — The Del Rio League will be well-represented in the CIF-Southern Section Championships with last-minute, game-winning goals, to advance to their respective title games Wednesday (Feb. 19) in their semifinal games.

La Serna, which won the DRL title, scored the winning goal on a shot by senior Sophia Perez with one second left to defeat Yucaipa, 5-4, in a Division 4 game. The Lancers will play Glendora (29-3), an 8-7  winner over Edison Saturday (Feb. 22) at the William Woollett, Jr. Aquatics Center in Irvine.

Cal, which finished second behind La Serna in league, received its game-winner from Jimena Vargas for the same 5-4 score, with 57 seconds remaining in the game to defeat host Monrovia in a Division 5 game, The Condors will play Costa Mesa (24-6), an 8-4 winner over Temecula Valley, also on Sat. (Feb. 22) at the Woollett Aquatics Center. 

A third DRL team, El Rancho, lost to La Salle, 14-8, also in the semifinals. El Rancho, which finished in third place behind La Serna (23-8) and Cal (23-8) in league, ended its season at 14-10.

“This is a great thing for our city,” said Cal coach Davey Brown, of the two teams making it to the finals. “It’s amazing to have two local teams in the championships.”

In the La Serna game, the Lancers had probably one of the most unusual endings in CIF action. 

With the game tied, 4-4, and 12 seconds left in the game, La Serna had the ball but the Yucaipa coach called a time out. The official ruled the time out was against the rules, as the only time a team could call a timeout was with possession of the ball.

A penalty shot was awarded to the Lancers, but was missed and deflected out of bounds. Just 11 seconds later, Perez put in the game winner past Yucaipa freshman goalie sensation Christine Carpenter, to send the Lancers to their third CIF title game appearance in school history. The Lancers lost to Troy in 2013 and came back the next year in 2014 to win the title over the same Troy team, 5-4, in sudden death overtime for their first school championship.

In Wednesday’s game, Yucaipa took a 2-0 lead in the first period, before the Lancers could get on the board. Casey Barragan, a junior, who has led the Lancers in scoring all season,  cut the lead in half with 3:30 left in the half, to trail, 2-1. Bianaca Borunda tied the score, 2-2, a minute later and Bella Rapp gave the Lancers their first lead, 3-2, with 18 seconds  left in the half,

After a tying goal by Yucaipa early in the third period for the 3-3 score, the Lancers again trailed 4-3 in the final period. Nearly five minutes would go by in the fourth before Borunda scored her second goal of the game. That set the stage for the dramatic ending. 

“We followed the game plan as best that we could,” La Serna coach John Pringle said. “We knew what we were getting into with that goalie. We took the chances that we had to. Now, it’s one to go.”


Cal 5, Monrovia 4

Cal, which has never been to the finals, was led by Padilla’s three goals and one each by Lynsie Barragan and Vargas.

“My girls played one heck of a defensive game,” Cal water polo coach Davey Brown said. “I couldn’t believe it. I knew in my head that the girls could do it.

“Even when we were down (3-1 in the 2nd), my girls never gave up and persevered and didn’t stop until the last whistle.” 

The Condors took a 1-0 lead on the first of Padilla’s trifecta with a goal at 5:49 of the first period.

That was followed by an onslaught of three goals by the only scorer for Monrovia (Charlotte Gray, 4 goals) in the second period. The Condors only goal was put in on a catch-and-shoot by Barragan on a pass from Chloe Rodriguez with 1:29 left in the half, to trail, 3-2.

‘In the third period, Padilla took charge with a pair of goals in a two-minute span.

Padilla scored the first at 3:41 of the third period after Myah Ibarra got a tight 2-meter pass to Padilla to tie the game at 3-3. The second gave the Condors the lead.

“Victoria came out on fire and scored with three players on her and made it 4-3,” Brown said.

Gray evened the score for Monrovia at the 3:25 mark and just a minute and a half later, Cal pulled out the win to send them to the finals.

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