Amino Leadership at Santiago: The Aztec Eagles represent the Harbor League and finished as the league’s No. 2 playoff seed. They won four of their six league matches and have won five of seven overall. The Cavaliers finished second in the Garden Grove League, winning seven of their 10 league matches. Playing at home in the playoffs is always a bonus with two teams that stack up well against each other. The home team here is the Cavaliers and they are my pick to advance.
Loara at Big Bear: The Saxons enter the playoffs looking to regroup. After starting 4-1 in the Golden West League, they stumbled badly over the final half of league losing four of five matches. After scoring 21 goals in the first half of league, the Saxons tallied only seven goals during the second half. The Bears won the De Anza League and were unbeaten in league. They have won seven straight matches and allowed only two goals in that span. The Saxons have the ability to score goals, but the Bears seem to playing better at this time and I look for that to continue in a first round win.
Winner: Big Bear
Bishop Diego at Katella: The Cardinals finished third in the Frontier League, winning six of their 10 league matches. Overall, Bishop Diego won 10 of their 20 matches. Senior Gabby Koepenick closed the season by scoring in six straight matches. The Knights were the Orange League champions and completed a 10-0 run through the league. Katella closed the season ranked No. 5 in the division, second best among county teams behind Segerstom. The Warriors have aspirations to advance deep and will start that run with a win over the Cardinals.
Santa Ana Valley at Covina: The Falcons were second in the Orange League behind Katella. They closed the season winning their last four matches by a combined score of 18-4. Senior Jessica Reyes led the county in goals scored during the regular season with 35, while junior Genesis Alonso and sophomore Brenda Chopin combined for 27 goals. The Colts were second in the Valle Vista League with a 8-2-2 mark, but were winless in their final two matches. Its tough to win on the road in the playoffs, but the Falcons have the offense to do so and will get the win.
Winner: Santa Ana Valley
Yucca Valley at Los Amigos: The Trojans will be the road team here after finishing third in the De Anza League. They posted a 5-3-2 league mark and have not lost in four straight matches. However, Yucca Valley won just nine of 24 regular season matches. The Lobos are the No. 1 seed from the Garden Grove League, tying Santiago for the best record at 7-2-1. Look for the Lobos to move on.
Winner: Los Amigos
Duarte at Ocean View: The Falcons will make the trip to Huntington Beach to take on the Seahawks. Duarte comes into the match on a bit of a tailspin, winning just two of their final nine matches of the regular season. Ocean View used a late surge to overtake Loara and claim second place in the Golden West League. The Seahawks won five of their final seven league matches. In three of those matches, they tallied three goals or more. I look for the Seahawks’ recent trend of quality soccer to continue with a first round win.
Winner: Ocean View
Savanna at Segerstrom: The only county vs. county matchup in the division has the Rebels visiting the Jaguars. Savanna advanced into the first round with a 4-1 victory over Ganesha, as four different players tallied goals. They will now face the county’s lone team to go undefeated this season. Golden West League champion Segerstrom posted a perfect 16-0 record (10-0 in league) The No. 2 seed in the division, the Jaguars have only been held under two goals twice this season. Junior Vivian Vega leads the team with 24 goals this season, but four other players have scored at least four goals also. My pick is that Segerstrom will continue its’ undefeated run with a home victory over Savanna.