A thrilling year of high school soccer in the Santa Clarita Valley is nearing the end. CIF playoff brackets were announced Saturday and nine local teams will embark on another postseason journey.
Here’s everything you need to know before playoffs start on Monday:
Hart awaits winner of wildcard game
The Foothill League champs will have to wait until Monday night to find out their opening round opponent.
Hart will await the winner of North Torrance and Ontario in Division 3.
The Indians finished the regular season as the third-ranked team in their division. Hart’s speed, physicality and defense will be able to keep the team in most games.
Hart hosts the winner of Ontario and North Torrance on Thursday at Larry Fiscus Field.
Saugus hits the beach, faces Crossroads in D3 first round
The Centurions dealt with plenty of adversity this season but still wound up in second place in the Foothill League and won three of their last four matches.
Saugus will have a tough task in round one: a road trip to the No. 6 Crossroads Roadrunners in Division 3.
However, the Centurions are more than up for the challenge. The team has several returners from last year’s squad that reached the CIF quarterfinals.
The Roadrunners are yet to drop a game this year at 10-0-4. Crossroads has only allowed seven goals all season.
It could be difficult to find the back of the net against the Roadrunners but Saugus’ depth and intensity may be enough to upset Crossroads at home.
Saugus heads to Santa Monica to face the Roadrunners Thursday with a start time to be determined.
Golden Valley to face La Serna in D5
The Grizzlies caught fire at midseason. Golden Valley won four straight matches to close out the year and has only dropped one game since mid-December.
The La Serna Lancers will be the next opponent the Grizzlies will look to surprise, if you can consider the red-hot team a surprise at this point.
The Lancers stumbled into the postseason, after dropping four of their final six games. La Serna is aiming to shake off the bad luck against SCV teams as Saugus knocked out the Lancers in the opening round of playoffs last year.
Golden Valley has a ton of scoring options with a dozen Grizzlies scoring this season. Senior Jimmy Lozano has led the way with 12 goals, while forward Alex Risdon has netted nine and added 14 assists.
The Grizzlies head to Whittier to take on La Serna on Tuesday with a game time to be determined.
Valencia heads to Pasadena
The Vikings return to the playoffs with a D3 wildcard matchup at Pasadena.
The Bulldogs enter the postseason with some solid momentum as winners of four straight, while Valencia has now dropped its last two games.
The Vikings are nonetheless confident as the team feels it turned the corner late in the season on top of recovering from some early injuries.
Valencia has a ton of depth, especially up front. Azael Jovel, Rami Maroun and Jordan Cardenas will lead the attack and look to break into the second round for the third straight year.
Pasadena hosts the Vikings on Tuesday at 5 p.m.
Hart hosts Oxnard in D2
Hart will host the Oxnard Yellowjackets on Wednesday. Oxnard finished third in a competitive Channel League but the Indians have faced stiff competition throughout the year.
The Indians are yet to lose a game on the field since early December (the team forfeited against Newport Harbor). In that span, Hart has won 10 matches while only giving up two goals.
Hart has a ton of depth, which has helped the team on its way to finishing the regular season ranked third in Division 2.
Forward Briley Phelps enters the playoffs hot off a hat trick while teammates Alexis Nguyen and Ariana Salvador are just as strong threats to create plays for the Indians.
Hart returns to Larry Fiscus Field for yet another playoff opener, and will face Oxnard on Wednesday with a time yet to be determined.
Saugus takes on Claremont
The Centurions will also enter the Division 2 bracket but head out on the road first with a matchup at Claremont.
The matchup is a pair of league runners-up as the Wolfpack finished second in the Palomares League.
Claremont has lost just one match since late December. Junior Isabella Salas has led the way for the Wolfpack with 17 goals and 10 assists.
The Centurions are also riding high into the playoffs as winners of three straight matches with 17 goals in that span.
Saugus has a goal machine of its own in freshman Makea Leonard. The freshman striker netted 14 goals this season, including one in her varsity debut. Leonard will look to do the same in her CIF debut.
Claremont hosts Saugus Wednesday with a time yet to be determined.
West Ranch has road test at Harvard-Westlake
The Wildcats are the third local team in the Division 2 bracket. West Ranch will open up on the road at Harvard-Westlake.
The Wolverines finished atop the Mission League at 8-1-1 and enter the playoffs on a five-game win streak.
West Ranch has had success in CIF and is looking for its third straight opening round win, but Harvard-Westlake will be a big road test.
The Cats will need only their best performances from here on out. Ava Magana, Ainsley Pierzchalski and Mikayla Toliver will be relied on heavily on offense. The West Ranch defense has made plenty of great stands this year but will have its tallest task yet in the Wolverines.
The Wildcats head to Studio City on Wednesday to take on the Wolverines with a start time to be determined.
Canyon enters wildcard round with Knight
The Cowboys enter the playoffs on a bit of a stumble after dropping two games with a combined 12 goals conceded. However, the games were against top-of-the-league teams and that may pay dividends as Canyon enters the Division 4 wildcard round.
The Knight Hawks notched second place in the Golden League and will host the Cowboys on Monday.
Senior Victoria Martinez leads the Hawks with 22 goals on the year.
Knight enters the postseason on a five-game unbeaten streak with just two goals allowed in that span.
Canyon has scored 18 goals in its last five games so the game may come down to how well the Cowboys’ backline performs.
Canyon returns to the playoffs on Monday for a wildcard round matchup at Knight with a time to be determined.
SCCS hosts AGBU
Santa Clarita Christian came so close to clinching a Heritage League title on Thursday. The Cardinals still earned a home opening-round game as the team hosts the Armenian General Benevolent Union Titans.
AGBU is also a league runner-up after a second-place finish in the Independence League.
The Cards will aim to continue to play strong defense and distribute quick counters to forwards Cam Lawson and Kylah Bennett.
SCCS hosts AGBU on Wednesday at Central Park, with a time yet to be determined.