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Conway Lifts St. Francis Into Final

From Staff Reports

Pat Conway of La Canada St. Francis scored two goals, including the game winner 1 1/2 minutes into sudden-death overtime, to give the Golden Knights a 2-1 victory over visiting Temecula Chaparral in a rain-swept Southern Section Division II boys’ soccer semifinal on Tuesday.

The victory propelled St. Francis (26-5) into Saturday’s championship game against Irvine Woodbridge, a 3-1 winner over Irvine Northwood.

“As soon as the pass [from Robby Dow] cleared the defense, I knew I was going to get it,” said Conway, who entered the game with about 15 minutes left in the first half.

Conway, a junior who has seven goals this season, gave St. Francis a 1-0 lead two minutes into the first 20-minute overtime period when he scored on an assist from Clark Sanchez-Figueras.

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But Chaparral (24-5-1) tied the score a few minutes later when sophomore Nick Sisko took a pass from Lee Koch, fought his way past two defenders and beat goalkeeper Tashi Nakanishi with a shot.

St. Francis will be shooting for its third section championship after winning the Division III title in 1996 and the Division IV title in 2001.

-- John Ortega

In girls’ games:

Mission Viejo 1, Lake Forest El Toro 0 -- Nicole Scheid scored in the 13th minute and the second-seeded Diablos clamped down on defense to advance to the Division I final on Saturday.

The victory was the first in three tries against visiting El Toro this season and advanced Mission Viejo (16-3-7) to the championship game against San Clemente, another South Coast League rival. The Diablos beat the Tritons, 3-0, and the teams tied, 1-1, during league play.

“I still have a headache from the amount of adrenaline we had going before the game,” Mission Viejo Coach Susie Daher said.

An El Toro scoring opportunity bounced off the crossbar in the opening minutes. A few minutes later, Ashley Keene started a run down the left side, centered a pass to Korie Nicholson, who found Scheid closer to the goal and to her left. Scheid settled the ball and fired it past goalkeeper Kristina Plumley.

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The Chargers (9-11-3) had three legitimate scoring chances in the first 10 minutes of the second half.

San Clemente 1, Mission Viejo Capistrano Valley 0 -- Casie Dilbeck’s overtime goal lifted the Tritons into the Division I final, where they will attempt to defend their title, albeit shorthanded.

Dilbeck scored off an assist from sophomore McCall Zerboni in the 96th minute.

On Saturday, San Clemente (15-5-4) is expected to be without Zerboni, the Division I offensive player of the year last season. She is scheduled to participate in a tournament in Florida with her under-17 national team, San Clemente Coach Stacey Juhl Finnerty said.

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Capistrano Valley finishes 17-7-3.

-- Dan Arritt

Woodland Hills El Camino Real 7, Chatsworth 0 -- Kandice McLaughlin had two goals and five other players scored once as the host and two-time defending champion Conquistadores advanced to their third consecutive City Section final.

McLaughlin, a junior midfielder, scored both goals by curving 30-yard kicks around goalkeeper Sydney Sterk. McLaughlin’s first goal, off a pass from Samantha Spencer, gave El Camino Real a 2-0 halftime lead and her second goal, off an assist from Nicole Walberg, made it 4-0 in the 58th minute.

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McLaughlin, however, will not be available when the top-seeded Conquistadores (22-1-3) face second-seeded Granada Hills, a 1-0 winner over San Pedro, for the championship Saturday at UCLA. She will be attending a 17-and-under U.S. Youth National Team development camp in Florida.

Chatsworth (14-9-1), which advanced to seven consecutive finals from 1995-01, has fallen short of the championship game two consecutive seasons.

-- Lauren Peterson


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