There will be plenty of local high school girls’ soccer teams flocking to fields to compete in CIF Southern Section playoff matches.
Six squads learned Monday they will be a part of the postseason picture after the CIF Southern Section office released its playoff brackets for all seven divisions. The group consists of Flintridge Prep, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, Crescenta Valley, St. Monica Academy, Glendale Adventist Academy and Glendale.
A season ago, Flintridge Prep embarked on a historic postseason run. It culminated with the Rebels advancing to the CIF Southern Section Division III semifinals as well as the semifinals of the Southern California Regionals.
Though the Rebels came up short in their quest to win a pair of championships, the experience left them hungry for a shot at redemption.
Flintridge Prep (19-4-2) earned the third seed in Division III and will meet visiting Buena (4-9-2) in a Division III match at 3 p.m. Thursday on the upper field at Occidental College. The Rebels won the Prep League championship without a blemish and have won 15 straight matches overall. They are 15-0-2 in their last 17 games and haven't lost since a 3-1 defeat against Harvard-Westlake on Dec. 9 in the Aliso Cup.
"If we continue to improve on our strengths and weaknesses, then we'll be OK," Flintridge Prep coach Esteban Chavez said. "You might get hit in the face with a surprise in the playoffs, so we just have to be able to focus on our own team.
"Our players have the playoff experience from last season and we really made a great run. We learned a lot and we have most of the team back. We know there are going to be a lot of good teams out there again. The farther you go, the better the team you'll face."
Buena finished third in the Channel League.
The winner of the Flintridge Prep-Buena match will meet Culver City (14-3-3) or Knight (14-5-2) in a second-round match Feb. 20. Culver City won the Ocean League title and Knight took third in the Golden League.
Flintridge Sacred Heart won the Mission League title for the first time in seven seasons. The Tologs (10-4-4) posted wins in their final two matches against rival Harvard-Westlake and Chaminade to claim the league crown.
Flintridge Sacred Heart will be at home to take on Valencia Valencia (10-6-6) in a Division II first-round match at 3 p.m. Thursday at Occidental College's Patterson Field.
"We came away with the big victories against Harvard-Westlake and Chaminade, so we feel good about the way we are playing," Flintridge Sacred Heart coach Mark Snashall said. "We are on a nice roll and we have some good momentum.
"Plus, we have some players who could be back in the lineup after being injured. We'll be a little deeper."
The Flintridge Sacred Heart-Valencia winner will face Sunny Hills (17-4-3) or Yorba Linda (6-8-4) in a second-round contest Feb. 20. Sunny Hills and Yorba Linda finished second in the Freeway and Crestview leagues, respectively.
Crescenta Valley (10-7-5) placed third in the Pacific League behind Arcadia and Burroughs. Crescenta Valley will make the trek to the Inland Empire to face fourth-seeded Corona Centennial (12-1-5) on Thursday at a time to be determined. Corona Centennial won the Big VIII League title.
The Crescenta Valley-Corona Centennial winner will meet North Torrance (16-7-2) or Pasadena Poly (8-9-2) in a second-round game Feb. 20. North Torrance captured the Pioneer League and Pasadena Poly was third in the Prep League.
St. Monica and Glendale Adventist will compete in Division VII road matches Thursday.
The Crusaders (9-6-1) will travel to St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy (10-4-5) at a time to be determined. St. Monica finished third in the Heritage League and St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy took second in the Santa Fe League.
The winner will take on second-seeded Wildwood (12-0-3, first in Coastal League) or Cobalt Institute (9-8, third in Cross Valley League) in a second-round match Feb. 20.
Glendale Adventist (3-5) will meet top-seeded Vasquez (13-2-4) in a first-round match Thursday at a time to be determined. Glendale Adventist took third in the Independence League and Vasquez won the Desert Mountain League.
A victory for Glendale Adventist would lead to a second-round match versus Azusa (9-9-2, third in Montview League) or St. Paul (7-9-1, third in Santa Fe League) on Feb. 20.
Glendale will make its first playoff appearance since 2004 after going 8-8-3 and taking fourth in the Pacific League. The Nitros will travel to face Summit (9-9-) in a Division V wild-card match at 3 p.m. Tuesday. Summit took third in the Sunkist League.
The winner will take on second-seeded South Pasadena (15-3-3, first in Rio Hondo League) on Thursday in a first-round matchup.