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All Rhoads point to CV title

Soccer: Junior forward scores 66th-minute goal to give Falcons girls a share of fourth straight league title.

February 09, 2012|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com
(Tim Berger/Staff…)

LA CRESCENTA — With a string of Pacific League titles hanging in the balance, quality scoring chances few and far between and archrival Arcadia holding strong, Crescenta Valley High's girls' soccer team's prospects were waning.

And then suddenly, two shots and one goal bestowed the Falcons a share of their fourth consecutive league crown as CV defeated Arcadia, 1-0, on Thursday afternoon at Crescenta Valley High.

"Everything," said Falcons senior captain Mallory Carcich, a four-year varsity starter, when asked what the victory meant. "It was so hard to think about not winning league after being here four years and having won it every year. It wasn't an option.

"I know it's co-champs, but that's better than not at all."

On the heels of a 1-0 loss at Arcadia in the rivals' initial meeting on Jan. 20 — coupled with the Falcons tying Burbank and the Apaches tying Pasadena, thereafter — the Falcons entered their annual rivalry finale needing no less than a win to earn a share of a fourth straight title and the Apaches (13-5-3, 11-1-2) needed no more than a tie to grab an outright championship.

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But in the 66th minute, a great Carcich shot preceded an amazing Sierra Rhoads shot that sent the Falcons (13-4-2, 11-1-2) into a delirium that continued roughly 30 minutes later.

"I actually thought I had no chance," said Rhoads of the second-half score. "I was basically on the sideline [when I took it]. I'm still surprised I made it."

A free kick by Sarah Worden started the scoring sequence, with midfielder Whitley Boller, who was formidable in the air all game and proved so once more, heading a ball to Carcich. Carcich took a touch, set and fired a blistering shot from the center of the field from just more than 10 yards out. It was far and away the best opportunity by either team to that point, but it was saved by a spectacular bid from Arcadia goalie Adrianna Maldonado.

"Yeah, I was really sad when the goalie blocked it," Carcich said, "but I was really happy Sierra was there."

Maldonado made a phenomenal dive to her right that blocked the low, hard shot destined for the inside of the left post, but Rhoads sprinted onto the scene. From the left side, only a few inches from being on line with the goalline, Rhoads let loose on a lining, left-footed shot that found the back of the net.

"Credit to [Rhoads]," Arcadia Coach Ryen Piszyk said. "It was a weird angle and, honestly, it looked like she had six inches to work with and she put it in that window."

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