Roundup: Tesoro delivers another blow to Esperanza


When the girls soccer playoff brackets came out Monday, a first-round game between Tesoro and Esperanza - the last two Excalibur Tournament champions - stood out.

It appeared to be a tough draw for both teams, but Titans coach George Deverrick believed his team had the mental edge given the teams' recent head-to-head history.

The fourth-ranked Titans defeated No. 7 Esperanza, 2-0, Thursday in the opening round of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs at Tesoro High.

Tesoro advances to face eighth-ranked Edison on Tuesday.

Thursday's outcome marked Tesoro's third straight victory over the Aztecs (14-8-3), a streak that began in the Excalibur championship game last season. The Titans (20-5-3) also beat Esperanza in the Mater Dei Tournament this year.

“We played them twice, and we had won both games,” Deverrick said. “I think that’s a psychological advantage. That’s important to go into that game with the right mindset.”

The Titans’ confidence showed at the outset of the game. Tesoro activated full backs Maddi Simmons and Maesyn G’Bye on the attack, putting the Aztecs on their heels.

“We like that because it actually gives us an opportunity to play in an attacking position,” Simmons said.

Esperanza played the game without starting goalkeeper Melissa Weck (concussion). Kayla McGeorge drew the start, and she was sharp throughout. She was tested early, making the stop when Aztecs defender Jade Poling inadvertently redirected a cross on goal.

The Aztecs would not be so lucky on a second such occasion. In the 10th minute, G’Bye took a long throw-in. The line-drive throw bounced off the head of an Aztec and into the far corner of the goal.

In the 45th minute, the Titans extended their lead, thanks to a familial connection. Junior Madi Cook drove a 50-yard free kick into the box, where her freshman sister, Ally, was waiting to pounce on a loose ball. The ball bounced high in the air. The younger Cook met it with her right foot above her shoulder, scoring on a very athletic effort.

“I’m always ready for those and always just want to poke it in,” Cook said. “It just happened to be above my head. I have pretty long legs and I’m pretty flexible. I just used them to my advantage and just hit it backwards.”

Also in Division 1:

No. 1 Mater Dei 3, Los Osos of Rancho Cucamonga 0: Lauren Markwith scored twice to lead the Monarchs (18-3-3). Brianna Selbo also scored, and Madison Puliafico made five saves.

No. 5 Huntington Beach 2, Etiwanda 1: Darcy Weiser and Sawyer Koelsch scored for the Oilers (15-4-6). Huntington Beach will face the winner of Friday’s matchup between Rosary and Long Beach Poly.

No. 6 Santa Margarita 3, Laguna Hills 0: Thalia Georgiou, Natalie Kennedy and Dani Spensiero scored goals for the Eagles (18-5-0).

No. 8 Edison 3, Dana Hills 2 (2OT): Rachel Flory converted Mikayla Edward’s corner kick in the second overtime to send the Chargers (17-5-2) to victory.

Edison draws fourth-ranked Tesoro in the second round on Tuesday.

San Juan Hills 0, No. 9 Canyon 0 (SJH advances, 3-1, on PKs): Rylee Hanes made two saves in the penalty-kick shootout as the Stallions (12-6-4) picked up their first playoff win in program history.

No. 10 San Clemente 2, St. Lucy’s of Glendora 1: Kira Nemeth assisted on both Ellie Winkelmann’s goals. Lauren Brzykcy made eight saves for the Tritons (14-3-7).

Villa Park 1, Los Alamitos 0: A game after she was taken to the hospital for a possible head injury, freshman defender Madison Goerlinger scored the game-winner for the Spartans (15-5-4).

Lauren Polyakov drew the assist, with Cameron Illingworth making six saves.

In Division 3:

Cypress 2, South Torrance 1: Jenna Dages and Dani Nicotera scored the goals, and Hannah Sutkowski made eight saves in the win for the Centurions (16-4-5).

Yorba Linda 4, Downey 1: Jacquelyn Dunlap had two goals to lead the Mustangs (13-4-3). Brooke Morris and Rebecca Ornelas also scored.

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