Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Lady Lancers advance to quarterfinals after win

Behind yet another first half goal by Senior captain Kendall Hart, the Sunny Hills Lady Lancers advanced to the Quarterfinals of CIF playoffs after getting past Redlands East Valley 1-0 on Tuesday.

In what was their fourth consecutive shutout, the Lady Lancers ceded possession early on but prevented any clear chances for the Lady Wildcats through organized and alert defense led by Hart.

Though they did not have extensive bouts of possession in the Lady Wildcats half, Sunny Hills made use of set plays to forge scoring chances.

Offensive set plays by the Lady Lancers forced Lady Wildcats goalkeeper Marina Medeiros into action often in the opening half.

The senior first kept Sunny Hills off the scoreboard when she swiped away a long throw-in that had made its way towards her goal and was about to be hit by forward Sierra chhoeung right in front of goal.

After their clearest scoring chance of the early game, the Lady Lancers started to have more possession and to play extensively in the Lady Wildcats half.

Along with an increased offensive effort came higher pressure by the Lady Lancers upfield, and that pressure led to what became the lone goal of the game.

Deep in the Lady Wildcats final third and under pressure by Sunny Hills captain Chhoeung, Defender Natalia Harris lost the ball to the oncoming forward near the penalty box and subsequently took her down in the box before she could be through on goal.

Harris foul left the referee with little options but to point towards the penalty spot.

The subsequent spot kick was slotted into the net and past a diving Medeiros, who had guessed the direction correctly, by Hart to give the Lancers a 1-0 lead.

Hart was not only producing on the offensive end of the field for Sunny Hills (20-3-4), but also on the defensive side of things.

The senior kept the Lady Wildcats (15-5-2) from getting through the Lady Lancers defense by intercepting and clearing away the ball on more than a few occasions in the half.

Redlands East Valley responded to going down by increasing their offensive intensity, but the Lady Lancers defense endured and it was Sunny Hills who came close to scoring again in the half.

In the final minutes of the half a long range free strike by Hart which required Madeiros to make a play came within a few feet if not inches of doubling the Lady Lancers lead.

Medeiros deflected Harts powerful and high placed strike just enough to have it go off the underside of the Lady Wildcats crossbar and bounce in front of the goal line.

A foul was called following the goalkeepers deflection and the Lady Wildcats stayed only down by one.

Coming out of halftime the Lady Wildcats were set on finding an equalizer.

Early in the half freshman Laney Carrol dribbled through a few Sunny Hills players and deep into Lady Lancers territory.

The freshman passed the ball off to a teammate near the Lady Lancers penalty box, but her teammates pass into the box intended for Carrol went too far, and was collected by goalkeeper Monica Balos.

As the half went on East Redlands Valley pushed up their lines and recovered the ball consistently, and the game proceeded to be played in Sunny Hills half.

Although The Lady Wildcats had control of possession, the Lady Lancers had the lead and a firm defensive team effort that held their opponents from getting any potentially game-tying shots on their goal.

Throughout most of the first 30 minutes of the half, time after time Lady Lancers midfielders and defenders thwarted East Redlands Valley from getting into their final third by applying pressure to disrupt build up play and clearing the ball to force the Lady Wildcats to restart their attacking efforts in their own half.

Even forwards dropped back on more than a few occasions to contest build up play passing and apply extra pressure.

Towards the last quarter hour of the game the Lady Lancers used possession to run down the clock.

Sunny Hills consistently earned throw-ins and other set pieces in their opponent’s half in the final stretch of the game and utilized those opportunities to slow down the tempo of play and keep the game away from their goal.

Needing to score to keep their season alive, the Lady Wildcats were finally able to get a clear shot on goal by the top of the box as the game entered its final 10 minutes.

It was not enough to get past Balos, who was able to stay standing and controlled it with outstretched arms.

The Lancers possession play to close out the game proved to be very effective and saw the playoff match end in the Lady Wildcats half.

“We just wanted to walk the ball into the back of the net, we didn’t take too many shots” said Redlands East Valley Head coach Daniel Graff, and added that “we knocked on the door a couple times we just couldn’t find it,” when talking about the team’s offensive play.

“We were ready to play defense today,” said Sunny Hills Head Coach Jeff Gordon, who added that “We have 11 defenders on the field” and that every player is committed “to winning and earning the shutout,” when talking about the team’s defensive efforts.

Sunny Hills host Moorpark on Friday in the quarterfinals of the CIF Division 2 Southern Section playoffs. Redlands East Valley is eliminated from the CIF playoffs.