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La Canada Is Double-Checking on Eligibility

La Canada High vice principal Michael Leininger said Tuesday that school officials are investigating the transfer eligibility status of four players on the girls’ soccer team.

Leininger said the players, whom he did not identify, transferred from Arcadia in December and were cleared for play by La Canada several weeks ago.

South Pasadena Athletic Director Ralph Punaro said he contacted La Canada officials last Thursday, after the Spartans beat the Tigers to claim the Rio Hondo League title, to voice concerns about the players’ status.

Punaro said this week he is satisfied that all is in order.

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Underachievers: Prior to the season, the Highland boys’ team seemed a lock for a playoff berth. Playoff participants the past two seasons, the Bulldogs returned eight starters.

What’s to blame for Highland’s 7-13-4 record and postseason absence? Coach Lem Galvao cited bad team chemistry and poor officiating.

“The league knew we were a good team and they didn’t want us to win,” Galvao said.

Galvao was particularly unhappy with a league rule he said was enacted for the season, stating that a player’s season was over after two ejections in league or postseason play.

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Galvao said Shawn Borak, the Bulldogs’ standout midfielder, played tentatively after being ejected in the league opener.

Outside looking in: Another disappointing boys’ team was Glendale, which finished fourth in Pacific League play and out of the postseason for the second time in seven seasons.

The area’s most underachieving girls’ team? Agoura, which for the second consecutive season went from a preseason Marmonte League favorite with a talented roster to a playoff spectator.

Reversal of fortune: Valencia (9-11-3), which finished third in the Foothill League in its second year of varsity play, travels to El Monte on Friday for a Division III first-round match.

Five Valencia starters--seniors Michelangelo De Fazio, Caleb Willis, Chris Winslow, J.R. Lloyd and Adam Waddell--started on Hart’s junior varsity as freshmen.

Hart (6-9-9, 1-7-2) missed the playoffs and had its worst season in at least 17 years.

City seedings: Chatsworth, defending City Section 4-A Division girls’ champion, is seeded No. 1.

The Chancellors (13-1) have a bye in the first round Feb. 26.

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In the 3-A Division, Mid-Valley League champion Monroe (10-1-2) is seeded second and West Valley League champion Birmingham (12-4-1) is third.

In the boys’ tournament, Valley Pac-8 Conference champion Reseda (15-1-1) is top-seeded. Birmingham (10-1-6), the Northwest Valley Conference champion, is seeded seventh. First-round matches are Friday.

Tough road: Several area teams won or shared Southern Section league titles but must play wild-card matches today.

On the boys’ side, Littlerock and Palmdale were Golden League co-champions. Littlerock (13-4-4) travels to play Saugus (17-4-3) while Palmdale (14-1-7) plays host to Hoover (6-7-4).

In the girls’ draw, Frontier League champion Moorpark (14-5) plays host to Notre Dame (11-10), third-place finisher in the Mission League. Hart (19-1-2) won its fourth consecutive league title and plays host to Palmdale.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

High School Soccer Playoff Matchups

TODAY

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Boys

Southern Section

Wild-card round

Games at 3 p.m.

Division I

Quartz Hill at Santa Monica

Santa Maria at Camarillo

Hoover at Palmdale

Division II

Littlerock at Saugus

Division IV

Nordhoff at Carpinteria

Paraclete at San Marino

Division V

Buckley at Campbell Hall

Girls

Southern Section

Wild-card round

Games at 3 p.m.

Division I

Quartz Hill at Thousand Oaks

Palmdale at Hart

Division II

Righetti at Ventura

Valencia at Temple City

Division III

Notre Dame at Moorpark

Morro Bay at Calabasas

Arroyo Grande at Simi Valley

Santa Maria/Camarillo winner at Rio Mesa

Hoover/Palmdale winner at Royal

Division II

Littlerock/Saugus winner at Buena

Division III

Atascadero at Burroughs

Bosco Tech at Calabasas

Rosemead at Moorpark

Valencia at El Monte

Division IV

Notre Dame at Oak Park

Crespi at Fillmore

Nordhoff/Carpinteria winner at Santa Ynez

Paraclete/San Marino winner at La Salle

Morningside at La Canada

Division V

Kilpatrick at Windward

Campbell Hall/Buckley winner at Maranatha

Village Christian at Desert Christian

SATURDAY

Girls

Southern Section

First round

Games at 3 p.m.

Division I

Highland at Peninsula

Quartz Hill/Thousand Oaks winner at Arcadia

Arroyo Grande/Santa Monica winner at Simi Valley

Hart/Palmdale winner at Crescenta Valley

Division II

Canyon at Santa Barbara

Ventura/Righetti winner at Westlake

Temple City/Valencia winner at Buena

Division III

Muir/Notre Dame Academy winner at Harvard-Westlake

Moorpark/Notre Dame winner at Atascadero

Calabasas/Morro Bay winner at La Canada

Ocean View/Redondo winner at Chaminade

Division IV

Oakwood at Mayfield

L.A. Baptist at Flintridge Sacred Heart

Cate at St. Bonaventure

Thacher at Oak Park

Santa Clara at Paraclete

Villanova Prep at La Reina


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