Cathedral wins bragging rights for best soccer team in downtown L.A.

The view of downtown Los Angeles on Thursday night from Cathedral High.
The view of downtown Los Angeles on Thursday night from Cathedral High, which beat Loyola 2-1 in soccer.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

There’s no guarantee playoffs will happen at the end of the soccer season, so the rivalry match between 3-0 Cathedral and 3-0 Loyola on Thursday night was for more than just for bragging rights of downtown Los Angeles.

These were two of the best teams in Southern California, if not in the state. Cathedral was sharp with its passes and controlling the ball, scoring the first two goals en route to a 2-1 victory.

Sophomore Angel Guerra delivered the first goal for the Phantoms after a scoreless first halfwhen he sent a shot into the right side of the goal. Fabian Hernandez made it 2-0. Alejandro Sanchez got a late goal for Loyola off a penalty kick.

“The last 15 minutes they went after us,” Cathedral coach Arturo Lopez said.

Cathedral and Loyola didn’t play each other in soccer until the Phantoms moved up to Division 1. Now it’s one of the best rivalries in soccer with the teams meeting in Southern Section playoffs and regional competition.

“This is like a taste of playoff atmosphere,” Loyola’s Nate Smith-Hastie said.

Smith-Hastie’s two older brothers were stars at Loyola, as was Guerra’s older brother at Cathedral.

“It’s always good playing them,” Lopez said.