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Crescenta Valley girls' soccer overcomes first-round obstacle

Crescenta Valley Falcons defeat San Luis Obispo to move past first round for first time since 2010.

February 14, 2013|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com
  • Crescenta Valley's Sierra Rhoads, center, is congratulated by teammates after scoring the match's only goal.
Crescenta Valley's Sierra Rhoads, center, is congratulated… (Raul Roa/Staff…)

LA CRESCENTA — Not since her freshman season had Crescenta Valley High senior Sierra Rhoads experienced a CIF Southern Section playoff victory.

And for most of the Falcons, a playoff win was something they’d never been a part of.

Over the last two years, the first round had been an obstacle Crescenta Valley was unable to overcome.

That changed on Thursday afternoon, as a Rhoads goal in the 33rd minute proved just enough to allow the Falcons to stave off a late-charging San Luis Obispo squad and clear their first-round hurdle to the tune of a 1-0 triumph at Crescenta Valley High in the opening round of the Division III girls’ soccer playoffs.

“It’s been a while,” said Rhoads, who was part of a Falcons squad that advanced to the second round of the playoffs in 2010 before a loss to Corona del Mar began a string of three consecutive postseason losses for CV that ended on Thursday.

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The win was also the first in the playoffs for Falcons Coach Jorden Schulz, who was an assistant on the 2010 squad.

“Finally,” Schulz said. “I mean, good grief, it’s been three years.”

There wasn’t a whole lot of playoff celebration, however, as Schulz spoke with the media following the game and then had her team running and doing push-ups, as she was hardly pleased with the Falcons’ performance – victory or not.

“This was not a good game for us. We played way too slow, we didn’t have the intensity we should have. We played to their speed,” said Schulz, whose team will face Pasadena Poly in the second round on Tuesday. “We’re gonna play Poly and Poly’s dang good.

“We can’t play the way we did today and beat Poly.”

Poly (17-1-1) won the Prep League title and defeated Placentia Valencia, 5-0, while Crescenta Valley (15-2-2) took second in the Pacific League and defeated a San Luis Obispo squad (14-11-1) that finished third in the PAC 7 League.

The Falcons’ win came after they dodged a bullet in the form of a late SLO penalty kick missing the frame entirely with roughly 10 minutes to play.

SLO was slow to start, however, as the Falcons controlled possession early on, before SLO had a sustained run of possession. Later on, an Olivia Bird free kick was headed in by Rhoads, but called offsides. Still, it signified the Falcons reasserting themselves.

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