Palos Verdes Soccer Team Lives Up to Top Seeding, Wins 3-0
The CIF-Southern Section thought enough of the Palos Verdes High boys soccer team to place a lofty second-seed tag on the Sea Kings for the 4-A Division playoffs.
On Thursday afternoon, Palos Verdes proved worthy of the ranking by shutting out visiting Bishop Montgomery, 3-0, in a first-round game.
The victory sets up a meeting with Hart of Newhall, which defeated Hawthorne, 2-0, on Thursday in the second round to be played Tuesday. A coin flip will determine the site.
The Sea Kings got off to a sluggish start against Bishop Montgomery, managing a 1-0 half-time lead against a team they had already beaten twice in the regular season.
But Palos Verdes, which won the Bay League title with a 10-0 record, clinched the game in the second half with a stingy defense that prevented Bishop Montgomery from mounting any kind of attack.
“They played good defensively, but we just didn’t have any offense,” said Bishop Montgomery Coach Carlos Cooper, who guided the Knights to a 14-10-4 season. “We felt good going into the half down, 1-0, but we also knew that we’d have to score. We just couldn’t do it, but we’ll be back.”
Palos Verdes got on the board five minutes into the game when Jeff Bowers took a pass from Paul Kaemmerer and sneaked the ball off the outstretched hands of Knight goalie Nick Floratos.
The Sea Kings got a break midway through the second half when Bishop Montgomery’s Mauricio Escobar received a red card, setting up a penalty kick by Greg Swartz, who put the ball in the right corner of the net.
Kaemmerer finished off the scoring for Palos Verdes by scoring on the front end of a three-on-one break initiated by Swartz.
“The penalty kick was definitely the turning point,” said Sea Kings Coach Alan King, whose team has won 17 straight games. “But the kid had missed two in a row, so we weren’t that comfortable. He’s scored 10 goals this season, all on penalty kicks, so hopefully he’s back on track.”
Sea King goalies Graham Harrison and Dan Phillips, who played one half apiece, turned back 11 shots on goal, while Palos Verdes peppered Escobar with 17 shots.
Mater Dei 4, Rolling Hills 0--Center-forward Paul Oldham scored three goals, raising his season total to 41, to lead the top-seeded Monarchs in a 4-A playoff opener at home. Mater Dei improved its record to 24-1-1, while Rolling Hills finished the year with a 18-7-1 mark.
Fountain Valley 0, West Torrance 0--Fountain Valley advanced on penalty kicks to eliminate West, the defending CIF 4-A co-champion, in the first round of the playoffs at West.