Wed, Mar 16 2011 04:24 PM Posted By: Phillip Brents
The playoff jinx is finally over for the Hilltop High School girls soccer team after the Lancers topped Mesa League rival Bonita Vista, 1-0, in last Saturday’s (Feb. 26) San Diego Section Division II quarterfinal match in the rain and hail at Montgomery High School.
“We finally broke our jinx,” HHS captain Samantha Martinez said.
The Lancers have made the CIF quarterfinal round familiar territory in recent years. But getting past the round of eight has been another story.
That is, until Nicole Wolfe headed in a corner kick from teammate Marisa Espino in the 10th minute of last Saturday’s game against the Barons.
The goal, coupled with standout defensive play and slick field conditions, proved to be enough to carry the third-seeded Lancers (15-3-4) into Wednesday’s semifinal match at second-seeded La Costa Canyon (14-3-3).
“It rained hard before the game and then during the game, it hailed,” Wolfe said. “The ball was slippery.”
The match-up was the third this season between the longtime soccer rivals, with Hilltop having beaten the Barons by scores of 2-1 and 4-0 in league play.
“Beating a team three times in one season is not easy,” Martinez said. “It was more physical. It was a tight game.”
“It was intense,” Wolfe underscored.
The Lancer defense combined with goalkeeper Hannah Teague to record the shutout victory. Joining Martinez along the backline are Ariel Estrada, Alexis Marshall and Tehya Peterson.
“We basically wanted it really bad,” Martinez said.
The win gave Hilltop a record of 9-1-1 in its last 11 games after concluding a championship season in Mesa League play with an 8-1-1 league record.
The Lancers received a bye in the first round of the playoffs while Bonita Vista (12-7-7) outlasted visiting Patrick Henry (15-6-5) on kicks from the mark after an overtime tie.
The Barons finished 5-2-3 in Mesa League play.
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