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St. Francis soccer wins to earn playoff berth

St. Francis Golden Knights get three second-half goals to pick up 3-0 Mission League home win against Chaminade.

February 06, 2013|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com

LA CANADA — Prior to their regular season finale Wednesday night, the members of the St. Francis High soccer team convened in a classroom inside the campus fieldhouse adjacent to Friedman Field before receiving a history lesson covering the team's last 24 years.

St. Francis Coach Glen Appels specifically noted that the Golden Knights had missed the playoffs only once since he took over the team in 1989. The Golden Knights got Appels’ point and then took care of some unfinished business wrapping up a playoff berth.

Brookes Treidler, Alex Pidoux and Frankie Veiga each scored a second-half goal to lead St. Francis to a 3-0 Mission League home win against Chaminade.

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“We talked before the game and I wanted them to know when the last time the team missed the playoffs,” Appels said. “I put up the information on a projector.

“I wanted them to know that we had a chance to keep our playoff streak going. They responded.”

St. Francis improved to 7-10-5, 5-6-1 in league for third place with 16 points. Chaminade dropped to 8-8-5, 2-6-4 in league with 10 points. St. Francis, which last failed to make the playoffs in 1997 after winning a CIF championship in 1996, clinched third after Crespi and Sherman Oaks Notre Dame battled to a scoreless league deadlock at Notre Dame on Wednesday. Notre Dame finished 3-4-5 in league for 14 points and grabbed the fourth and final automatic playoff berth out of the Mission League.

The Golden Knights had fallen on tough times of late, losing their last four matches while failing to record a goal in that stretch. That changed in a big way in the second half, along with another steady effort by goalkeeper Luca Coppola.

Coppola held the Eagles at bay throughout the first half and during the opening moments of the second half with some splendid saves.

St. Francis then picked up its play offensively thanks to an alert play from Treidler.

Treidler intercepted a clearing pass by a Chaminade defender and lined a 25-yard shot into the back of the net to give the Golden Knights a 1-0 lead in the 44th minute. It was St. Francis’ first goal in 407 minutes.

“I looked up and saw that the guy looked to be in trouble,” Treidler said. “I was celebrating before I hit the ball.

“You imagine trying to make a play like that and it worked out. It’s just a huge relief to be going to the playoffs.”

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