LA CAÑADA — It had been so far, so good for the La Cañada High girls’ soccer team this season. Even more, it had been so far, so perfect for the Spartans in the win column on the campaign, with the squad garnering 11 wins in 11 games going into their third Rio Hondo league contest.
The Spartans put that unblemished record on the line when they welcomed Temple City to their home pitch in a Rio Hondo League matchup Friday afternoon. La Cañada had no problem handling the Rams and came away with a 6-0 victory.
“A lot of different girls scored and we were very organized defensively,” Spartan Coach Louie Bilotwitz said. “We played [Temple City] earlier this season and the score was [a] 3-0 [victory in the Duarte Tournament championship game] and we’ve obviously improved a lot since then. That’s the goal of any coach: To see his team get and better and better.”
The Spartans (12-0, 3-0 in league) have now posted their seventh straight shutout and they remain perfect on the season, still yet to yield a goal in Rio Hondo League play.
“Our goalkeeper [Kaitlyn Corrall] joined us late,” Bilotwitz said. “[After] she finally joined the team, we haven’t given up a goal since then. I think we have [seven] straight shutouts. It’s not just her, it’s the defense too. It’s a great combination.”
The youth movement produced Friday for La Cañada with five of its six goals coming from underclassmen, led by the contest’s only multiple-goal scorer in Megan Reilly, who netted two while playing three different positions throughout the game.
It was sophomore Katherine Sheehy who started the scoring in the game’s 11th minute. Working through the middle, senior Brianna Albarian touched the ball to junior Cassy Quiring, who passed it into space on the right side of the box, where Sheehy timed her run to meet it and hammer home a low shot across the face of the goalkeeper and into the net.
“Our coach just told us to keep continuing to make diagonal runs,” Sheehy said, “and that’s what we did and it paid off.”
Eighteen minutes later, Sheehy added an assist when she beat her defender with a cutback dribble deep in the right side of the box before sending a pass across to Albarian, who put it away with a soft shot for a 2-0 lead.
In La Cañada’s seven straight shutouts, the Spartans have outscored their opposition, 36-0. So far in league play the Spartans, currently ranked No. 5 in the CIF Southern Section Division V, have 21 goals while yet to yield any. On Friday, Temple City (9-7, 1-2) never managed to create a quality scoring opportunity.
However, the Spartans defense repeatedly created and finished scoring chances against the Rams on Friday, led by sophomore Rosie Quezada. In the 32nd minute as the Rams pulled back and clogged their defensive third, Quezada pushed up from her right back position to collect a ball in space some 28 yards away and blast a hard, driving shot that arched down from right to left and landed in the back of the net.
Quezada then used textbook-perfect crosses to get assists on the Spartans’ next two goals.
“She had a really terrific day,” Bilotwitz said of Quezada. “She is really improving offensively.”
The first assist came just before halftime when Quezada laid a cross in the air cleanly onto the head of Reilly, playing at stopper, who finished with one touch.
The two hooked up again for the first score of the second half. Quezada once again attacked from the back down the right side before crossing the ball once again cleanly to the head of Reilly for another assist.
“I was just trying to time my runs and make sure I got there at the right time,” Reilly, who has five goals in her last two games, said. “Luckily, no defenders came out and got me there, so I was able to just get it in there.”
The scoring concluded near the halfway point of the second half on a goal by Ari Aghadianians. The freshman collected a loose ball near the top of the box, after Temple City goalkeeper Patricia Dull had come out to get the ball in traffic but not been able to get it, and blasted it on the ground into the open net to make the final 6-0 margin.
“I’m really hoping we make can it through the whole season. I think we have a good chance,” Reilly said of being undefeated. “These shutouts are really nice, so I’m hoping we can keep that up too.”