Charles Rich and Erik Boal
GLENDALE -- o7 Odds and ends from the local high school soccer
Wanting more: With the seconds dwindling on her three-year varsity
career, Crescenta Valley High girls’ soccer player Stephanie Villa needed
to put on her thinking cap.
Villa, a midfielder and one of two seniors on the 22-member squad, saw
a developing play take place that the Falcons have practiced throughout
With less than a minute remaining in regulation and the Falcons
trailing second-seeded Canyon Country Canyon, 1-0, in a CIF Southern
Section Division II semifinal match Tuesday, CV’s Jorden Stanley took a
direct kick that was deflected by teammate Megan Stevenson.
Stevensen directed the ball in Canyon’s box and Villa, a team captain,
tapped the ball into the vacant net.
Patti Lynn Mitchell scored about two minutes into sudden-death
overtime to give CV (21-6-3) a 2-1 win and a trip to Saturday’s CIF final
match against top-seeded Huntington Beach Edison.
“That’s the biggest goal I’ve scored,” said Villa, who has produced
eight goals and seven assists this season. “I’m glad we’ve practiced that
play. I told [assistant coach] Billy Curtis that our seniors weren’t
ready for the season to end.”
What’s the lesson that the Falcons have learned during its four
grueling postseason matches?
“We have to play to our potential every minute,” Villa said. “Some
teams can play great for 10-minute stretches and get away with it, but we
can’t afford to do that.”
Villa and her teammates proved that Tuesday.
Remembering the kids: One of the turning points during CV’s season
occurred off the field when the Falcons visited City of Hope in Duarte on
CV distributed more than 100 pairs of pajamas to the pediatric cancer
patients during the third annual Pajama Drive. Under second-year CV Coach
Reggie Rivas and several school booster club presidents, the Falcons have
been community conscientious.
Rivas and Villa, a midfielder, didn’t count on the unseeded Falcons
advancing to the CIF Southern Section Division II championship match more
than two months later.
“Those kids would give anything to come out and play sports,” Villa
said. “I look at it that they have talent to play soccer. They don’t get
that chance and I like to think we’ll be playing for them.”
The team had hovered around .500 when they visited City of Hope.
The Falcons had played arguably one of their worst matches of the
season in a 4-1 nonleague home loss to Westlake a day before their
“Soccer is just a game,” Rivas said. “Yes, you want to win, but
helping out somebody is more important. You can play the worst game of
the season and it doesn’t matter the next day because it’s an inspiration
visiting those kids.”
A little bit of history: For the second straight season, the
Flintridge Prep girls’ soccer team advanced to the CIF Southern Section
Division V semifinals, making it the only local girls’ squad to make
multiple semifinal appearances since CIF adopted its playoff format for
girls’ soccer in 1981.
In addition, of the 20 teams that reached last year’s semifinals in
Divisions I through V, only 10 made return trips this season, with the
Rebels and Prep League rival Pasadena Poly both accomplishing the feat in
Along with Tim Morphy’s squad, only Crescenta Valley -- which became
the first area girls’ team to reach a championship match -- and La Canada
have advanced as far as the semifinal round in the past 22 years.
La Canada’s 1992 team reached the final four in Division 3-A, losing
to eventual champion Torrance, 3-1. That Torrance team posted a combined
57-1-1 record between 1990 and 1992, en route to back-to-back CIF crowns.
The Rebels -- who lost to Brentwood, 2-0, in last season’s semifinals
-- couldn’t protect a 1-0 first-half lead and fell to La Salle, 3-1.
But Morphy, who has guided Flintridge Prep to a 39-5-6 (.780) record
during the past two years, still valued the accomplishment.
“It’s something these girls should be really proud of,” said Morphy,
who bid farewell to four-year varsity players Kate Boswell, Crystal Cook,
Lauren Hartford and Sarah Sheldon following Tuesday’s match.
“These girls worked hard and they have a lot of pride in what they do
and a lot of pride in their team.
“For them to come together for such a short period of time and be as
successful as they were says something about the quality of Flintridge
Prep as a school and the quality of this team.”