Surprising Spartans make quarterfinals

Even with the rash of surprisingly early exits and the incredible story of the Sacred Heart girls' soccer team, the most surprising story so far this playoffs has been the play of the La Cañada girls' soccer team.

Before the season started, not even their coach thought they were going to make the playoffs and here we are. Not only did they make the CIF Division V playoffs, but they're in the quarterfinals.

In the first round, La Cañada girls' soccer team (15-4-3) faced off against Orange.

La Cañada beat Orange, 3-2.

Orange opened the scoring in the 24th minute, but Rachel Ragusa retaliated in the 27th and Milly Beebee followed in the 35th to make it 2-1 La Cañada.

In the second half, Lisa Limm added an insurance goal with 28 minutes remaining. Orange scored again in the 75th minute, but that was as close as they got.

Then, on Tuesday, a miracle happened. Playing at the heavily favored Tri-Valley Champions and Div. V No. 5 seed Oak Park (11-8-6), La Cañada won, 1-0.

A defensive battle for sure, La Cañada 14 shots on goal. La Cañada goalkeeper Haley Austin saved all 14.

After the game, Austin, a freshman, thanked her defense, and especially the efforts of Kelly Clark.

Late in the second half, after defender Kelly Clark cleared the ball, Morgan Ritticher picked it up and ran down the left side. She got a shot off and beat the keeper to score La Cañada's lone goal.

They'll play El Segundo at home at 3 p.m. today.

— Seth Amitin

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