By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
When Sadie Holt scored on a rebound only six minutes into last Thursday night’s nonleague showdown at El Camino Real, Palisades High’s girls soccer team looked poised to knock off the defending City Section champion for the first time in Coach Christian Chambers’ five seasons.
However, the host Conquistadores answered two minutes later on Kiara Washington’s re-direct off a corner kick, Audrey Cabrera tallied on a direct free kick from 25 yards out late in the first half, then added insurance on a rebound with 23 minutes to go, capping El Camino Real’s 3-1 victory in a rematch of last winter’s City final.
“They’re very good on set pieces and at the moment their in better shape than us,” Chambers said. “We know what we have to do if we face them again in the playoffs.”
Goalies Abby Lee (first half) and Kylie Uzon (second half) kept Palisades off the scoresheet for the last 73 minutes despite several quality chances generated by Holt, Jordan Darrow, Georgia Calvert and overlapping defender Frankie Van Norden.
“We held with them better this year, we just need to get better fitness and get our tactics together,” Van Norden said. “We’ve never scored first against them, so that was great but for them to come right back on a stoppable goal was deflating. It’s always a great battle against them.”
Palisades is 0-4-2 versus ECR since 2014-15.
“They’re a good team—that’s why we schedule them,” ECR Coach Eric Choi said. “I love the way they play the game. The way they attack and defend, player for player, is very similar to us.”