Pali High Boys Soccer Advances to Quarterfinal Rematch at ECR
By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
It must have felt like deja vu yesterday for Palisades High boys soccer players, who remember their season coming to an end at the hands of El Camino Real last year in the City Section Division I quarterfinals.
The teams faced off again in the same round in Woodland Hills on Wednesday (result undetermined at press time), with the winner earning a spot in next Tuesday’s semifinals against sixth-seeded Fremont or third-seeded San Fernando. The final is Feb. 23 at Valley College.
Palisades, seeded 10th, had two win two games to earn another crack at the defending City champions, who are seeded second this winter behind West Valley League rival Birmingham.
First, the Dolphins hosted Community Charter in the wild card round and they prevailed 3-0, setting up a road trip to seventh-seeded Hawkins on Monday.
The Dolphins controlled play throughout the first half but managed only one goal by Sebastian Rincon.
In the second half, Josh Barad scored on a header off a corner kick to make it 2-0, but the home team answered with a goal off a corner kick of its own to pull within 2-1. Palisades missed a penalty kick late but goalkeeper Tommy Meek made sure it didn’t cost his team as the Western League champion Dolphins notched their 13th victory.
“We had a ton of scoring opportunities and they had almost none except for a couple set pieces,” Pali High Coach Dave Suarez said. “We had too much speed in the back. We were in control and could’ve scored three or four more.”
Palisades’ girls squad, seeded No. 6 in the 16-team Division I bracket, opened the playoffs at home Tuesday against No. 11 Bravo. If victorious, the Dolphins will either host No. 19 Chatsworth or travel to No. 3 San Pedro in the quarterfinal round Thursday. The semifinals are next Tuesday at the higher seeds.