For the Hart and West Ranch girls soccer teams, there’s nothing left to do but wait.
While both teams find themselves in a holding pattern, they’re on opposite sides of the spectrum.
Hart already clinched its fifth straight league title Friday and remained undefeated in Foothill League play Tuesday with a 4-0 road victory against West Ranch.
The Indians (18-5, 9-0 Foothill League) have one date left on their regular-season schedule before heading into the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 postseason.
The Wildcats (8-8-3, 2-4-3), while not mathematically eliminated from an automatic playoff bid through the Foothill League, are likely destined to wait and see if they can earn an at-large playoff bid in Division 2.
“Realistically, we needed at least a point today to stay in the hunt (for the automatic bid),” said West Ranch coach Jared White. “We let things get out of our control way too quickly.”
Hart, which hasn’t conceded more than one goal in a league game this season, was up 2-0 within the first 10 minutes of the afternoon.
Kendall De La Vega put the Indians up 1-0 in the sixth minute off a corner kick from Taylor Moorehead and Moorehead added a goal of her own in the 10th minute, with Izabel Reyes notching the assist.
“We’re just trying to stay sharp with these last two games going into the playoffs,” said Hart coach Guilherme Mitrovitch. “We want to make sure we keep a clean sheet and keep our offense going, which we did today.”
Caitlin Pieper sent Hart into halftime with a 3-0 lead, scoring off a deflection from just under 20 yards out, stunning West Ranch goalkeeper Bridget Caffrey.
Caitlin Pieper puts Hart up 3-0 (36’) as she sends in this goal from just under 20 yards out off a deflection. pic.twitter.com/8TcIyM3Gr1
— Ryan Posner (@ryanposner_) February 6, 2018
West Ranch, which was playing in its final regular-season home game of the year, shifted its focus to playing its seniors for the first 25 minutes of the second half before allocating time to freshmen and sophomore hopefuls for the remainder of the game.
The Wildcats haven’t picked up a full three points since Jan. 23 against Golden Valley. They fell 2-1 to Canyon, which scored directly off a corner kick in the final minute of the game, on Jan. 26 and have collected two ties and a loss since.
“Things really started to unravel after that Canyon loss,” White said. “We were in control of our destiny at that point but now there are just too many things that we need to go in our favor.”
Elizabeth MacArthur scored off an assist from Reyes in the 53rd minute to secure the final tally. Indians goalkeeper Kaycie Priske thwarted what looked to be a sure goal from Emilie Cisneros off a pass from Sydney Marbach, with a diving save to her left in the 75th minute.
“We’re really striving for 10-0 in league and that was big to get the shutout today,” Reyes said. “That’s going to be important for us when it comes to who we play in the playoffs.”
Hart senior defender Isabella Penaranda missed her second straight game due to a leg injury. Mitrovitch said she will miss the team’s regular-season finale but is still hopeful she could return for the first round of the postseason.
Hart will finish its regular season at home Friday against Saugus while West Ranch will travel to Golden Valley.
Canyon 2, Saugus 1
Marisa Rodriguez scored in the final five minutes of the game off a corner kick from Jenny Patino to lead Canyon (10-6-2, 6-3) to a home victory.
Shaina Berdin put Saugus (10-6-4, 3-3-3) up 1-0 with a goal in the 30th minute before Cynthia Valdez tied the score in the first half on a penalty kick.
Valencia 4, Golden Valley 0
Autumn Moore scored two goals for Valencia (8-6-5, 3-4-2), with Alex Trujillo and Elizabeth Gallagher adding goals as well.