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SOUTHERN SECTION SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIPS : Tonight’s Girls’ Game : Canyon Hopes What It Doesn’t Know Won’t Hurt Against Agoura

Times Staff Writer

John Williams, girls’ soccer coach at Canyon High School, said he doesn’t know much about Agoura, which his team will face at 3 today in the Southern Section 3-A soccer final at Gahr High School in Cerritos.

Perhaps ignorance is Williams’ best defense.

For those in the know, Agoura (25-0), the top-seeded team in 3-A, has been an unstoppable force, churning out some dazzling statistics.

So far, the Chargers have:

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--an unbeaten streak of 77 games, dating back to December, 1986.

--allowed only six goals in 25 games this season.

--scored 175 goals (a Southern Section record) this season.

--the experience of winning the past three 2-A championships.

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Agoura reaps its riches from an area loaded with club soccer talent. According to Agoura Coach Dave Godwin, at least 10 of his players have been playing on club teams together since they were 8 or 9.

Junior striker Heidi Walters leads Agoura’s tremendous offensive output with 31 goals, followed by senior Vanessa Martin (24), sophomore Sunday DiZazzo (23) and junior Jill Gallegos (19). Senior midfielder Julie Tingle (16 goals) also has a section-record career 102 assists.

Fullback Lisa Ferragamo, a two-time All-Southern Section defensive player of the year, has contributed to Agoura’s 19 shutouts. She is niece of former Ram quarterback Vince Ferragamo.

In all, the Chargers are quick, athletic and highly skilled. What’s an opponent to do?

“We’re just going to play our own game,” Williams said. “I know they’re a talented ball-control team, but so are we.”

So far, the strategy’s been working just fine for sixth-seeded Canyon (19-1-4). The Comanches’ only loss this season was to Temple City, the 2-A’s top-ranked team.

“Really, my ultimate goal wasn’t ever to win the CIF title,” Williams said. “It was just to get there. Of course, now that we’re there, I’d love to win it. But whatever happens, we’ve had an incredible year.”

Indeed, this has been a record-setting season for the Canyon girls’ program, which, in its nine-year history, had never advanced past the second round of the playoffs.

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This season, Canyon has set school records for most victories (19), most shutouts (14) and most single-season goals by an individual (22 by team captain Christa Ramirez).

Ramirez has scored both goals in 1-0 victories over La Quinta (second round) and third-seeded Moreno Valley (quarterfinal). Tuesday, she scored twice in a 4-1 semifinal victory over second-seeded Mater Dei.

Ramirez, and Canyon’s talented goalie Keri Erkenbrack, also star on the school’s basketball team, which finished second in the 4-AA division Thursday night.

Senior Kim Maynard, Canyon’s leading fullback, sprained her knee in Tuesday’s semifinal and is not expected to play today.

When told of Agoura’s impressive statistics, Williams remained unfazed.

“It doesn’t matter to me,” he said. “My girls have been confident all through the playoffs. We’re confident now.”


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