Amanda Walzer, out of the Grant lineup for nearly a month with bruised ribs, showed no sign of rust during the Lancers’ 2-1 girls L.A. City semifinal soccer victory over San Pedro on Wednesday at Daniels Field.
Walzer, a junior striker, scored both Grant goals, the second coming on a sweeping kick from 20 yards with 12 minutes remaining that put the Lancers ahead to stay, 2-1.
“She really played well, she surprised everybody,” Grant Coach Frank Ortiz said of Walzer, the Lancers’ leading scorer, who had not played since crashing into a goal support post in a game three weeks ago. “That lifted us, her coming out and showing so much determination.”
The Lancers (12-2-2) will meet undefeated Chatsworth on Saturday for the City championship. The site is undecided. Grant finished second to Chatsworth in the Northwest Valley Conference during the season.
Walzer’s impact was not lost on San Pedro Coach Steve Morris, whose Pirates came into the game with the Southeast title and an undefeated 12-0-2 record.
“I thought we were the dominant team,” Morris said. “I don’t think they’re as strong, player for player, as we are. But their number 6, Amanda, is a dynamite little player.”
Walzer scored her first goal seven minutes into the opening half. After outrunning San Pedro’s coverage, Walzer went one-on-one with Pirates goalie Elisa De La Pena and scored on a shot into the right side of the net.
San Pedro’s Chellee Bennett scored on the rebound of a missed shot five minutes later, but the Pirates were shut out for the rest of the first half and all of the second.
The Pirates had several opportunities to score in the second half, but Grant goalie Tatum Langford came up with several fine saves.