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The Hornet

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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Lady Lancers edge Cappo Valley, move on in playoffs

A late first half header by senior Kendall Hart led the Lady Lancers to a 1-0 victory over Capistrano Valley Thursday in the first round of CIF Southern Section Division 2 playoffs.

In a half in which they controlled possession, Sunny Hills came close to taking the lead consistently.

An early long throw in that was parried by Lady Cougars goalkeeper Anna Moon fell to Hart just a few feet in front of the goal.

The senior got a foot to the ball but her strike was blocked by a Lady Cougars defender and ended up out away from the goal.

As the first half went on the Lady Lancers did not cease putting offensive pressure on Capistrano Valley, and by doing so kept the game in the Lady Cougars final third for large portions of the half.

Despite numerous crosses and extensive build up by the Lady Lancers, the Lady Cougars defense made several clearances and was set up in a way which left little open space in their final third.

Unable to create clear scoring chances by getting past the Lady Cougars defense, the Lady Lancers (19-3-4) made their clearest chances of the half through the air.

Corner kicks and Long throw-ins led to the Lancers two best chances of the opening half.

Lady Lancers forward Sierra Chhoeung almost put them in the lead when a ball she sent in directly from a corner kick had to be punched away from the goal by Moon to keep the game tied.

The aerial attacking play by the Lady Lancers continued and near the end of the half made a difference on the scoreboard.

In the final minutes of the half Hart rose to meet a long throw in into the penalty box and headed the ball just past the line of the Lady Cougars goal to make it 1-0.

Capistrano Valley (9-7-4) attempted to respond but like in the majority of the half could not muster anything that tested Lady Lancers goalkeeper Monica Balos.

The second half began more evenly than the first.

Capistrano Valley managed to get into the Lady Lancers final their in the opening minutes, including a few passes into the penalty box,  a rare occurrence in the first half.

Sunny Hills defense responded to the raised offensive intensity of the Lady Cougars by clearing away anything near their box and blocking any shot attempts that didn’t go wide or over for a goal kick.

After an initial period of raised offensive intensity by the Lady Cougars the game veered towards being one of few clear chances for either team.

Although the Lady Lancers didn’t create as many chances as in the first half they came close to growing their lead.

Chhoeung almost extended the Lady Lancers lead when a strike the forward took forced Moon, who had left her line, to deflect it away from goal.

Other than a mid range strike from Madison Werner that flew over the goal the Lady Cougars struggled to create chances for most of the half.

The ineffective offensive efforts of Capistrano Valley were largely due to Sunny Hills possession and defensive play.

The Lady Lancers continued to have possession for extended bouts in the half which prevented any offensive play by their opponents, and were very attentive without the ball defensively.

On more than a few occasions Sunny Hills defenders almost immediately cut off the space of Capistrano Valley forwards when they had the ball near midfield.

As the game neared its final minutes the Lady Lancers played to protect the lead rather than extend it.

Long ball clearances into the Lady Cougars final third became routine in the final minutes of the game, and a well organized defensive setup by Sunny Hills withstood Capistrano Valley’s efforts to equalize.

In the closing moments of the game a pass from the top of the box by Sarah O’ Donovan couldn’t be met by Werner in front of the Lady Lancers goal and went out for a goal kick instead.

“”We know their style of play and they executed very well with what they do,”” Said Lady Cougars Head Coach Neil Powell, and later added “We didn’t execute in the final third today and gave away too many set pieces which we knew would be an issue for us.”

“Defense wins championships and you know, we wanted to fight for the shutout and we did” Said Lady Lancers Head Coach Jeff Gordon on his team’s defensive performance, and later lauded the seniors for the “great leadership” they provide.

Sunny Hills will face Redlands East Valley in the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division 2 playoffs on Tuesday, Capistrano Valley’s season is over.