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Noh makes sure Aliso Niguel girls advance
ALISO VIEJO – Aliso Niguel girls soccer coach Randy Dodge couldn’t exhale until just seconds before the final whistle.
Facing a talented JSerra offense without starting center midfielder Maddi Desiano, Dodge had reason to be concerned, but goalkeeper Alyssa Noh did her best to quell his nerves.
Anabella Folino scored in stoppage time of the second half off a forward pass from Sara Jayne Affleck to give Aliso Niguel a 2-0 win over JSerra in the second round of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs Tuesday at Aliso Niguel.
“It was a good game, the kids battled,” Dodge said. “They lost their best player to injury, which hurt them a lot, but they were dangerous all game long.”
Aliso Niguel (16-0-5) faces the winner of Chino Hills and San Juan Hills at home in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
The Wolverines’ pressure up top got to the Lions in the 36th minute. After getting the ball in the box, Aliso Niguel blocked two attempted clearances by the Lions (14-4-3).
The ball bounced to senior forward Tatia Dumbadse, who fired a shot past JSerra keeper Kiana Soloman on the near side for a 1-0 lead.
“All on effort,” Dodge said. “The shot was kind of a half hit, but it went in. Sometimes you need that.”
JSerra forwards Julie Doyle and Isabella D’Aquila had opportunities, but Noh’s decision-making on through balls was key for the Wolverines.
In the seventh minute, Noh challenged a pass off the head of D’Aquila to Doyle, snagging the ball before it got to its target.
In the 32nd minute, Noh dove to her right to stop a shot from D’Aquila from just outside the box. It was one of the few times D’Aquila had space to shoot before exiting with a shoulder injury midway through the second half.
Noh’s only gamble came in the 67th minute, when she raced beyond the box to head a ball away from a charging Doyle, but JSerra was unable to recover and take a shot at the open net.
“She was the story of the game,” JSerra coach Greg Baker said of Noh. “I thought we had some good chances, but their keeper came up big. We played well against top teams this season. We lost 2-0, but it was an even game.”
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