Los Alamitos eliminated in OT
LOS ALAMITOS - He sprinted toward the Los Alamitos goal, struggling to keep his balance as he bounced off three of the Griffins' defenders.
Sanford Spivey stumbled once, but somehow managed to hang onto the ball. And with one desperate kick three minutes into the second overtime, he scored the goal that gave Santa Barbara a 1-0 victory against host Los Alamitos in the second round of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs.
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Sanford has scored five goals in his last three games, including a hat trick against Chaminade of West Hills in the first round.
"And of those goals (the three against Chaminade) were individual efforts, too," Santa Barbara coach Todd Heil said. "He has really turned it on. He is making this his senior year to remember because he got injured right before the start of the playoffs last year."
JSerra will play host to the Dons (18-5-3) in the quarterfinals on Friday. The Lions beat second-seeded Millikan, 3-2, on Wednesday.
The Griffins (16-5-4), though, had two good chances end the game in overtime. In the opening seconds if the first extra 10-minute period, Tim Harty, who leads the Griffins with 15 goals, found some space in front of the 6-yard box, but his shot sailed inches wide of the near post.
Then, less than a minute later, he tried again only this time the ball grazed the top of the crossbar.
"Soccer is unforgiving at times, and we had some really clean looks in the first overtime, but we were a little unlucky, but that is how soccer is," Los Alamitos coach Don Martinez said. "This is a tough loss right not now, but it was a good run ... a good season."
The Griffins have some of the most organized defenders in the county. The proved that when they shut out Edison, then the No. 1 team in the nation, 1-0, in the season finale, spoiling the Chargers' chances at a perfect season.
And on Wednesday, the Griffins once again did a good job of keeping the play in front of them. The Dons really had only one good chance to score in regulation. It came in the 35th minute after Los Alamitos senior goal keeper Daniel Boyer punched away a corner kick.
TJ Fairchild was there in the box for Santa Barbara to pick up the loose ball, but his header bounced off the near post.
"The strength of us is in the collective to defend with numbers and structure," Martinez said. "It is not one or two players. We play and attack as a team. We set our sights higher than this (the second round), but I am absolutely happy for our boys and what we were able to do this year."