SOUTHERN SECTION GIRLS' SOCCER WILD-CARD GAMES : Foothill Returns to the Playoff Scene by Beating Aliso Niguel


Foothill made the most of its first playoff game in five years, defeating Aliso Niguel, 3-1, in a Southern Section Division II girls' soccer wild-card game Wednesday at Aliso Viejo.

The Knights advanced to the first round of the playoffs, where they will face Long Beach Wilson (14-1-2), the Moore League champion. Aliso Niguel, losing its second wild-card game in as many years, finishes 15-6-3. The Wolverines lost to Estancia, 3-1, last season.

The Knights needed only 32 minutes to put the game away with three first-half goals. Foothill (10-8-3) consistently beat the Wolverines to the ball and pounded sophomore keeper Kirsten Roy with 12 first-half shots.

"We have been playing really well lately," Foothill Coach John Bovetas said. "We won our last three league games and we are starting to do things right."

Foothill's first goal came off a deflection by Wolverine defender Brooke Schwartz. The Knights' Jana Arbanas skidded a corner kick in front of the goal, Stacey Brandon and Laura Dooley tried to jam the ball into the net and Roy fumbled the ball. Schwartz came in to help and ended up knocking the ball into the net 15 minutes into the game.

Eight minutes later, the Knights were in Roy's face again. Junior Lori Grigas kicked a perfect crossing pass to sophomore Maura Logan, who scored from in front of the net.

Foothill sealed the game with eight minutes remaining in the half, when Logan, all alone, slid the ball by Roy.

Aliso Niguel started slowly in the second half and Foothill got off some quick shots.

Three minutes into the half, Logan's shot from the left side bounced off the crossbar and over the goal. Arbanas go the ball two minutes later and dribbled around her defender toward the middle of the net, where she aimed a shot at Roy, who knocked it out of play.

With 23 minutes left to play, freshman Jana Mellotti's shot was knocked away by Foothill goalkeeper Elizabeth Osborne. Freshman Lindsey Jarvis got the rebound and sailed the ball over Osborne's head into the net.

Osborne had five saves for Foothill; Roy had six for the Wolverines.

"In the second half we got a little sloppy, too confident," Bovetas said. "But I am happy with the way we are playing now."

In other Division II games:

Rosary 2, Temple City 1--Liz Schilling scored two unassisted goals for Rosary, which won its first section playoff game. Rosary (14-3-1) will travel to play Mira Costa at 3 p.m. Saturday in a first-round game.

Troy 4, Garden Grove 0--Melissa Prine and Elizabeth Sinclair each scored twice for the Warriors (13-6-1). Prine, Holly Peterson and Becky Lee each had an assist. Troy will face Redlands (19-1-3) Saturday. Garden Grove finishes 9-8-2.

Laguna Hills 5, Westminster 1--Natalie Kaylor and Carrie Geyer each scored twice for Laguna Hills (9-6-1), which next plays at Sunny Hills Saturday. Betsy Tuggle had 18 saves for Westminster (9-6-1).

In Division I:

Fountain Valley 7, Agoura 1--Sharon Gillis scored two goals and teammate Nicole Sweany had one goal and two assists for host Fountain Valley (18-5-3). Kim Green, Diana Ginns, Debbie Blake and Heidi Denton also scored for the Barons, who play at Santa Margarita Saturday.

In Division III:

Kennedy 2, La Mirada 0--Elizabeth Deck and Michelle Maitland each scored as host Kennedy shut out La Mirada. The Fighting Irish will face top-seeded La Serna (13-0-1) Saturday.

Corona Centennial 3, Anaheim 1--The Colonists finish 6-9-4 and Centennial advanced to the first round at 12-8-1.

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