John Williams, Canyon High School girls’ soccer coach, knew he had a good team entering the Southern Section 3-A playoffs, but Tuesday he found out just how good it has become.
Senior Christa Ramirez scored two second-half goals as Canyon defeated second-seeded Mater Dei, 4-1, in a playoff semifinal at Mater Dei.
“I never expected this type of game,” Williams said. “I know we had a pretty good team, but now I’m convinced we are a real quality club.”
The victory moves No. 6-seeded Canyon (19-2-3), the Century League champion, into the championship game against top-seeded and unbeaten Agoura Saturday at Gahr High. Mater Dei, the Angelus League champion, finished 22-5-2.
Mater Dei was within 2-1 at the half before Ramirez made her presence felt. A forward, Ramirez scored her first goal 15 minutes into the second half on a rebound inside the penalty area after Mater Dei goalie Michelle Lodyga deflected Kelly Thompson’s corner kick.
Ramirez scored again 10 minutes later on a breakaway, beating Lodyga on a low line drive into the left corner. Ramirez has 22 goals.
Canyon goalie Keri Erkenbrack also played an important part, making 10 saves and stopping several Monarch attempts inside the penalty area.
Keri Sprenger gave Canyon a 1-0 lead in the first half before Mater Dei freshman Kim Donahue tied the score on a slicing corner shot. Canyon’s Jeni Smith scored on a penalty kick to make it 2-1.