Girls’ soccer: Spartans to play in first City final

first_imgAlthough battered, bruised, and, in some cases, bloodied, from their battle with visiting Granada Hills, nothing could wipe the smiles off the Spartans’ faces following the biggest win in program history. Second-seeded Sylmar scored twice in the first 30minutes, then withstood an own goal and a relentless second-half rally from the No. 6 Highlanders to advance to its first City final with a 2-1 win. “I thought we dominated the first half, but the second half got sloppy,” said Sylmar coach Jose Navarro, whose team will face top-seed El Camino Real of Woodland Hills (19-2-4) in Saturday’s title game at 7 p.m. at East L.A. College. “(Granada Hills) really came at us, but we just kept playing and when it came down to it, our girls wanted it more.” Granada Hills coach Lynda Fritsche only wished her team had been able to match Sylmar’s intensity from the opening whistle. After scoring 17goals in their first three playoff games, the Highlanders (13-6-5) managed only one shot on goal in the first half. “We didn’t come out like we needed to and that’s why we lost,” Fritsche said. “We dug ourselves a hole by not playing the ball and you can’t give a team like Sylmar those opportunities. They deserved to win.” Jennifer Alverez scored off an assist from Carol Martinez in the 22nd minute and Elizabeth Arias struck again six minutes later for Sylmar (30-2), which won its 27th in a row. “We proved to everybody that we deserved to be here,” Arias said. “I can’t explain how I feel. It’s unbelievable.” If only Sylmar had decided to use its scoreboard, the Spartans could have savored the memories even longer. But that didn’t stop the celebration from carrying on for nearly an hour following Wednesday’s City Section girls’ soccer semifinal match. center_img Senior goalkeeper Nicole Gonzalez didn’t let the own goal in the 47th minute shake her confidence. She came up with three saves in the final 12minutes – including a diving stop on Melissa Fernandez – to seal the victory. “This is something we’ve wanted since ninth grade. (Reaching the final) makes me very proud,” said Gonzalez, who celebrated her 18th birthday with eight saves. “This is an incredible feeling. I live for these games.” [email protected] (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more