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Furious finish can't save CV

Soccer: Falcons girls start slow against Millikan and pay the price in 2-1 first-round playoff loss.

February 17, 2012|By Gabriel Rizk, gabriel.rizk@latimes.com

LA CRESCENTA — Despite giving away an entire first half and giving up two quick goals early in the second half, the Crescenta Valley High girls' soccer team still found itself taking meaningful shots late in Friday's CIF Southern Section Division II first-round playoff game.

They were shots that could have prolonged the host Falcons' season, even if only for an overtime period, and the Falcons approached the task with appropriate urgency, but to no avail, as Long Beach Millikan escaped with a 2-1 upset.

"Last game of the season or it could be," Falcons Coach Jorden Schulz said, "you've got to play like it."

There was no doubt the Falcons (13-5-2) poured their all into the final 20 minutes of the match, during which Sierra Rhoads' goal with 11 minutes to play gave the Pacific League co-champions new hope, but the same couldn't be said for the preceding 60, according to Schulz.

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"We did not play a good first half at all," Schulz said. "You tell them not to be cocky, but they come out and they play like they're supposed to win instead of playing to win and we gave them hope. When you give a team hope, they're going to take it."

Millikan (18-2-6), the third-place team from the Moore League, seemed emboldened by a first half in which it outshot Crescenta Valley, 13-2, and had several good scoring chances to essentially none for the Falcons. Jessi Magallon made six saves in the first half to keep the Rams off the scoreboard.

"Jessi kept us in the game in the first half for sure," Schulz said. "She's the only reason we were in the game."

Crescenta Valley came within inches of taking the lead less than a minute into the second half when Rhoads unleashed a shot across the mouth of the goal with the rebound going to Grace Keller, who poked it back into the goal, but just short of breaking the plane. The ball was pinballed around in the box for a few more anxious seconds before being cleared.

Millikan broke the scoreless tie in the 45th minute on a perfectly placed 40-yard free kick by Alex Karloswitch that grazed the leaping Magallon's fingertips before passing just under the crossbar.

Shortly after play resumed, Millikan won a ball in the midfield and pushed it up to Kayla Edwards, who got ahead of two defenders and buried a shot in the right corner of the net from 20 yards out.

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