Eight Santa Clarita Valley soccer teams, four boys and four girls teams, advanced to this week’s CIF-Southern Section playoffs after the playoff pairings were announced on Saturday.
The Hart girls soccer team finished the regular season undefeated in Foothill League play for the seventh consecutive season, going 9-0-1 and 20-1-4 overall.
The Indians finished No. 9 in CIF-Southern Section Division 1 final standings and drew Centennial of Corona (13-3-2 overall), the Big VIII League’s second-place team, at 5 p.m. at Hart High School on Thursday.
The Indians suffered one setback during the season in a 2-0 loss to Division 1 foe Long Beach Poly on Dec. 14 and have gone undefeated since, winning 17-of-18 games to finish the regular season.
“Our momentum (heading into playoffs), is good and we are playing well,” said Hart head coach Guilherme Mitrovitch. “It was a tough league and it battle-tested us for playoffs and we had a very strong preseason, as well. I feel like everything that we accumulated this year propelled us to this moment and to be ready for the playoffs.
“We are really looking forward to it, even though it’s a very challenging Division 1 playoffs. We know that when we are at our best, we can compete and beat anybody so we are really looking forward to the challenge. Hopefully, we can win on Thursday and make a playoff run.”
Hart’s seniors Alyssa Irwin and Sarah Melvin look to provide the offense, while Jessica Deegan and Julia Melchiore head up the defense.
West Ranch (10-8-4) has a tough first-round draw as they head out on the road against the CIF-SS Division 2 top-finisher Mira Costa.
Securing a playoff spot in the final day of Foothill League competition, the Wildcats got contributions from Cassidy Imperial-Pham, Yumary Rubio and Leanna Kane in their 4-0 defeat of Golden Valley, and will be relied on to provide a deep playoff run.
The Wildcats play Mira Costa (18-2-0) in the CIF-SS Division 2 first round at 5 p.m. at Mira Costa High School on Thursday.
Saugus (8-5-6) joins West Ranch in the Division 2 playoffs on the road against South Hills.
The Centurions finished the regular season with two sophomores, Alyssa Edwards and Maddie Robbins leading the team in scoring, with five and four goals each, respectively.
Junior Presley Williams found her stride in the past two weeks of the regular season and seniors Shaina Berdin, Grace Seitz and Katie Russell provide leadership, stability and experience.
South Hills (16-4-0) is the Hacienda League’s undefeated champion going 10-0 since its Jan. 2 loss to Temecula Valley.
“I think we are just going to go out and not make it too big of a deal, just go out and play,” said Saugus head coach Kevin Miner. “We felt like, even though we lost the last couple games, we played some really good soccer and we will try to continue to build off of what we have done.
“We are playing a really good team that went 16-4, 10-0 in league, but we feel that we are battle-tested in one of the toughest leagues in the Southern Section… Those are the types of games that prepare us for the playoffs and we just need to clean up a few things and try to put the ball in the net.”
The Centurions and Huskies face off at 5 p.m. at the Covina District field Thursday.
Santa Clarita Christian School (10-4-1) girls soccer finishes the regular season as the No. 9 ranked team in CIF-SS Division 7 and hosts Le Lycee (4-4-1) at home at 5 p.m. on Thursday.
The Cardinals were gifted offensively scoring 95 total goals this season. Sydney Boswell (35) and Briley Phelps (21) were the team’s top-two goal scorers combining to score 56 goals.
Four other players finished with at least a goal during the year, leading the Cardinals to a second-place finish in the Heritage League behind Division 6 playoff team, The Palmdale Aerospace Academy.
The Santa Clarita Valley International boys soccer team earned their first trip to the postseason after finishing third in Omega League play with a 4-3 win over Pilgrim in a tie-breaker on Wednesday. SCVi finished 5-7 overall.
The Stallions will face St. Bonaventure (10-5), the Frontier League’s titleholder, at St. Bonaventure on Wednesday. Start time TBA.
Hart boys soccer finished ranked No. 5 in the CIF-SS Division 3 final standings after a first-place finish in the Foothill League, going 16-2-3 overall. The Indians captured at least a share of the past three Foothill League titles.
Due to their finish on the season, the Indians are the only Foothill League boys team to host a first-round playoff game on Wednesday.
Dealing with some injuries, the seasoned group of Hart boys soccer players led by Lawrence Luna, Nicholas Woll and Joseph Ochoa look to avenge a first-round loss to Dos Pueblos a season ago.
Hart hosts Royal (14-13), the Coastal Canyon League’s third-place team, at 3 p.m. at Hart High School on Wednesday.
The Indians defeated Royal 6-1 earlier this season on Jan. 3.
“In reality, we finished the (regular) season strong and everybody tells me that they feel confident that we could win tomorrow, the problem is injuries,” said Hart head coach Adonay Jovel. “Hopefully, having an extra day of recovery we will feel better. It’s not who is ranked higher, it’s who comes out and plays.
“We have to come out ready. We have to come out focused and ready to play. If you win, you’re out. Nobody cares if you won or lost or tied the past games. Now you’re in a different tournament and we have to focus on performing this game. Bottom line.”
The Vikings boys soccer team closed out Foothill League play with a 2-0 shut-out win on the road against Canyon. Finishing second in the league, Valencia (8-3-7) joins the Indians in the on the road in Division 3 playoffs against Oxnard (13-3-5).
After dropping two of its first four games of the season, Valencia rebounded and dropped just one more game the rest of the year to qualify and head into playoffs.
Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. at Oxnard High School on Wednesday.
Saugus boys soccer rounds out the Foothill League boys squads to advance to the playoffs as they head out on the road to on Santa Paula Wednesday.
Saugus (9-6-4) complemented its offensive skill set with tough defensive play and finished third in the league in goals scored (12) and goals allowed (10) behind Hart and Valencia.
The Centurions have an exciting mixture of seniors like: Joshua Truong, Dionicio Flores and Jason Nakoud that blend well with talented sophomores like: Connor Claborn, Alec Fryer and Alex Nilson.
Santa Paula (11-4-6) enters the playoffs tied for first in the Citrus Coast League after dropping its first league game. They went undefeated since it’s final regular-season game to finish 7-2-1 in league play.
The opening whistle is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Wednesday.