Thu, Feb 03 2011 12:33 PM Posted By: Phillip Brents
The Otay Ranch High School girls soccer team is making a run at the Mesa League championship, it seems. The Mustangs enter Thursday’s high impact encounter against the defending league champion Hilltop Lancers. Kick off is 3 p.m. at ORHS.
“This game will determine if Otay will have a shot at the Mesa banner,” Mustang coach Mike Diaz said.
The implications are clear:
Otay Ranch (10-2-5 overall) enters Thursday’s match with a 3-1-1 league record. Hilltop (11-1-4 overall) is 4-0-1 in league play, with a one-game lead. An upset win by the Mustangs would place the teams in a first-place tie.
The Lancers edged Otay Ranch, 1-0, on a goal by Jessica Valencia in the team’s first-round match-up on Jan. 18.
The Mustangs have gone 3-0-1 since that loss to Hilltop, drawing 0-0 with Eastlake on Jan. 20 and following with three successive victories: 3-0 against Mater Dei on Jan. 25, 2-0 over Bonita Vista on Jan. 27 and 4-0 against Chula Vista on Tuesday, Feb. 1.
Jessica Palafox scored two goals in Tuesday’s victory over the Spartans, including one just 30 seconds into the match. Uilani Himan and Karla Gadea each scored single goals to bolster the Mustang offense.
On the first goal, Tiana Wood was sent a through ball down the right side of the field where she crossed the ball to a wide-open Palafox, who placed it in the net. Cross country standout Carina Gillespie drew the assist on Palafox’s second goal three minutes later.
Himan scored Otay Ranch’s third goal of the first half when she won the ball from a Chula Vista defender and dribbled through the defense to find herself one-on-one with the goalkeeper. Himhe calmly placed the ball to the right side of the Spartan netminder.
Himan drew the assist on the Mustangs’ fourth goal when she received the ball in the middle of the field, switched it to the left side to free up Gadea for another one-on-one match-up with the CV gioalkeeper. This time, Gadea chipped the ball over the Spartan ’keeper to keep the game out of reach for the Spartans.
The Mustangs’ biggest win of the season of the league season thus far had to come against Bonita Vista. Himan and Wood each scored one goal to lead Otay Ranch.
Aggressive play in the first half resulted in the Mustangs’ first goal. Palafox played the ball into the box, where Himan challenged Baron defenders attempting to clear the ball. Himan won the ball from a BV player and tucked a shot in off the post.
Wood scored her eighth goal of the season on a through ball from teammate Celina Ibarra. Wood deposited a hard shot to the upper right corner of the net to finish the play.
Otay Ranch picked up its first league victory against Mater Dei Catholic. Jennifer Ortega led the way with two goals while Wood scored once.
Hilltop defeated Mater Dei Catholic, 4-0, as goalkeeper Hannah Teague received credit for the shutout victory.
Interestingly, both Otay Ranch and Hilltop played to scoreless ties against Eastlake in the first round of league play.
Eastlake currently sits in third place in the league standings with a 2-0-3 record. The Titans remain within striking distance of first place but will need positive results in the second round of league play.
2010-11 Mesa League
Girls Soccer standings
(Through Jan. 25)
Hilltop 4-0-1, 11-1-4
Otay Ranch 3-1-1, 10-2-5
Eastlake 2-0-3, 6-2-4
Bonita Vista 2-2-1, 8-6-5
Mater Dei Catholic 1-4-0, 2-5-0
Chula Vista 0-5-0, 2-10-1
Tuesday, Jan. 25
Hilltop 2, Bonita Vista 1
Eastlake 5, Chula Vista 0
Otay Ranch 3, Mater Dei Catholic 0
Thursday, Jan. 27
Hilltop 0, Eastlake 0
Otay Ranch 2, Bonita Vista 0
Mater Dei Catholic 2, Chula Vista 1
Tuesday, Feb. 1
Hilltop 4, Mater Dei Catholic 0
Bonita Vista 0, Eastlake 0
Otay Ranch 4, Chula Vista 0
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