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Aliso Niguel rallies, captures spot in Div. 1 final
MISSION VIEJO – Another improbable finish helped the Aliso Niguel girls soccer team successfully navigate its way back to the CIF-SS Division1 championship match.
Senior Lindsay Doyle recorded the winning goal with less than three minutes remaining in regulation as the Wolverines rallied to defeat the Capistrano Valley Cougars, 3-2, in the CIF-SS Division 1 semifinals Tuesday at Capistrano Valley High.
"We battled back, and I can't say enough about the kids," Wolverines coach Randy Dodge said. "This is a team of legacy that can make a name for themselves this weekend."
Aliso Niguel (13-3-6) snapped Capistrano Valley's unbeaten streak at 21 and prevented the Cougars (19-2-3) from advancing to the Division 1 title match for the first time since 2004.
“The girls left everything out there on the field and should be proud of what they accomplished,” Cougars coach Neil Powell said. “Credit to Aliso, they have a game plan that they stick to and execute.”
The Wolverines will face Chaminade of West Hills for the Division 1 title this weekend. The Eagles advanced past Harvard-Westlake of Los Angeles, 3-2, in penalty kicks after the two teams played to a 1-1 tie.
The time and location of the match will be announced today.
Capistrano Valley took a 1-0 lead in the 29th minute, as senior Samantha Celani blasted a shot from the box over the left shoulder of Wolverines senior goalie Riley Sims and into the far corner of the goal.
The Wolverines tied the match in the 37th minute. After Cougars junior goalie Aubrie Coley batted a shot attempt off the crossbar, sophomore Lauren Miller fished out the rebound in heavy traffic in front of the goal and knocked the ball over the goal line.
Aliso Niguel took a 2-1 lead in the 51st minute. Freshman Myranda Baca got to a loose ball and blasted a shot from 30yards out toward the goal. Coley managed to get a piece of the ball, but it bounced over the goal line.
The Cougars answered with the match-tying goal in the 63rd minute, as senior Alex Hussar sent a pass to Celani, who slipped a shot to the right of Sims and into the near corner of the goal.
The decisive play of the match came in the 77th minute. After a Cougars foul, sophomore Sarah Roberts lined a free kick toward the goal. Among a jumbled group of players, Doyle redirected the ball with her knee past Coley and into the back of the net.
The Cougars had one final chance in the closing moments, but a header by Hussar was saved by Sims.
Dodge said that he is looking forward to this year’s team creating their own identity and successfully completing their year-long mission of winning another CIF title.
“This is a new group of players and I want them to taste it and represent our city,” Dodge said. “We’re going to fight and not give up anything.”
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