GLENDALE — It’s always interesting when two league rivals compete in a regular-season match. It’s more so the case when the squads get together with the stakes much higher in a playoff contest.
The Glendale High and Crescenta Valley girls’ lacrosse teams found that out when they met in a Los Angeles Lacrosse Foundation Division I second-round match Thursday.
Glendale posted a Pacific League win against Crescenta Valley in the regular season and looked to continue its recent mastery of Crescenta Valley. Glendale turned to its standout player for more success.
Fourth-seeded Glendale received eight goals from Rachel Fong and had a strong defensive effort to record a 14-9 home win against No. 5 Crescenta Valley on Thursday at Moyse Field.
Glendale (18-2) will meet No. 1 Redondo Union in a semifinal match at 3 p.m. Saturday at Culver City High.
Fong, a senior who has scored 16 postseason goals in two matches, proved to be the consummate play-maker for the Nitros.
“It’s the way Rachel can control the pace of the match,” said Glendale coach Joe Campbell, whose team began the playoffs Tuesday with a 12-11 win versus No. 13 Palisades. “We have people like Rachel, Xcaret Salvador and Jasmin Contreras who can lead the way.
“We had to find a way to persevere against CV. You beat them the first time and you think things will go the same way the next time. We had to work hard and stay with it. We’re happy to be going on to the semifinals.”
Glendale, which has won two straight Pacific League championships and three in the last six seasons, got three goals from Salvador, two from Aaliyah Eudabe and one from Zoe Charum to turn aside Crescenta Valley (14-4).
Glendale’s defensive unit of Ava Drayden, Aya Baker, Deymaris Arca, Morgan Frazier and Brooke Marquardt helped hold Crescenta Valley, which placed second in league, at bay.
“CV played much better than the first time we played them,” Fong said referring to Glendale’s 20-13 win on April 9. “Our defense knocked down a lot of passes and they created a lot of turnovers.
“I’m just happy to find ways to contribute. We’re so happy we are advancing.”
Crescenta Valley, which earned a 14-10 win against No. 12 Oaks Christian on Tuesday for its first playoff win in program history, jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead on a pair of goals by Allie Foster (five total goals).
Glendale responded with six straight goals, capped by one from Fong, to take a 6-2 lead with 12:28 left in the first half.
Fong made it 8-4 with 8:45 to go in the half before Peyton Marshall scored to cut the deficit to 8-5 with 4:03 to play.
The Falcons closed to within 8-7 on a goal by Foster with 16:26 left in the second half, but could get no closer. The Nitros finished on a 6-2 run to seal the win.
“It’s really hard to play a team again, especially when when we know them,” Crescenta Valley coach Boz Crowther said. “Glendale played an aggressive style of defense and we’re still not great at that.
“I think we got a little excited when we got it down to one goal in the second half and we started to make some bad passes. We definitely had a great season, which included getting our first playoff victory, and this is just gravy.”
Crescenta Valley got two goals from Marshall and one apiece from Kaisa Marshall and Francesca DiMundo. Crescenta Valley’s Lexi Ballard had two assists and finished with 103 points on the season.
Glendale goalkeeper Lili Barker made seven saves and Crescenta Valley goalkeeper Phoebe Crowther finished with eight.