So much for the demise of the Harvard-Westlake High girls’ soccer team.
The Wolverines, top-ranked in last week’s Southern Section Division III coaches’ poll and the defending Mission League champions, had lost two league matches in five days prior to Friday’s showdown with first-place Chaminade.
However, Harvard-Westlake prevailed in overtime, 2-1, and regained control of its destiny.
“I told [the team], ‘This is the game that will decide whether the rest of the season is yours to control or theirs to control,’ ” Wolverine Coach Ned Smith said.
Harvard-Westlake (12-4-1, 6-2 in league play) and Chaminade (16-3-3, 6-2) are tied for first with two matches to play.
Chaminade, the league champion in the 1994-95 season, plays Flintridge Sacred Heart twice. The Wolverines, who close with Alemany and Louisville, hold a head-to-head advantage over Chaminade, having also beaten the team in December.
Alice Graham scored three minutes into overtime, after corralling a Chaminade clearing attempt in the center of the penalty area.
Chaminade scored in the second minute, after a cross caromed off Wolverine goalkeeper Sara Deckers. Amy Watts kicked the ball in from five yards while on a knee.
That, however, was the Eagles’ finest moment. Standout forwards Kerrie Clavadetscher and Liz Buhn received little midfield support and couldn’t create their own shots against Harvard-Westlake, which effectively pressured Chaminade.
The Wolverines tied the match in the 18th minute when Sara Yeatman, lurking near the far post, headed in a 30-yard free kick by Susan Baise.
Harvard-Westlake is 6-0-1 against Chaminade in the past three seasons.
“I think Chaminade gets more pumped up to play us than we do to play them,” Yeatman said. “They’re big and physical and they knock us around. But they can only dream about beating us.”