Dana Hills' Hannah Ris, left, and Foothill's Kaeli Larsh, right, try and head the ball during action in Santa Ana on Friday.
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Foothill rally keeps Dana Hills out of semifinals


SANTA ANA - Down a goal to No. 4 Dana Hills in the closing moments, Foothill's girls soccer team seemed headed for a tough-luck defeat.

The head of Knights junior Ashley Peterman changed that, and in the process, denied the Dolphins a chance to play in the semifinals of the Mater Dei Premier Invitational.

Peterman tallied the tying header off a corner kick with two minutes remaining in the match, as the Knights and Dolphins played to a 1-1 draw in a Group D match on Friday at Mater Dei High.

“It was an amazing relief when that shot went in,” Peterman said. “Today, we fought hard for both halves and managed to come back to get the tie.”  

Dana Hills (5-0-3), which entered the day leading the pool, finished one point behind Los Alamitos in Group D. The Griffins defeated Bishop Amat, 3-1, on Friday and will face Villa Park in a semifinal match Saturday morning.

No. 1 Aliso Niguel and Harvard-Westlake will play in the other semifinal on Saturday morning.

“As a group today, we wanted to maintain possession and try to wear them down because we knew that Dana Hills wanted to be more direct,” Knights coach Steve Patterson said. “All the credit goes to our girls who I thought played fantastic tonight.”

Dana Hills grabbed a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute of the match. After senior Sydney Choidini was fouled on a run into the box, fellow Dolphins senior Tiana Salazar booted the ensuing penalty kick to the right of Knights freshman goalie Miki Ratsula and into the corner of the goal.

Foothill  (2-4-3) answered with sustained possession throughout the remainder of the half. The Knights had several attacks that ended in the attacking third, but they were not able to turn their pressure into scoring chances, producing only one shot on frame in the half.

The Knights defense also played a strong first half, not allowing the Dolphins a shot on frame in the run of play.

Foothill continued to possess the ball well early in the second half, but key defensive plays by junior Megan Matchett and sophomore Liz Durst helped stifle the Knights attempts to produce shots on frame.

The Knights finally managed to turn their pressure into shot opportunities later in the half. In the 52nd minute, sophomore Hannah Stammer uncorked a shot that floated over the crossbar. In the 54th minute, junior Cassidy Bolt lofted a floating shot toward the goal that was stopped by Dolphins junior goalie Meghan Dickmann.

Knights junior Kristen Reeves had a shot opportunity in the 60th minute, but the ball again sailed over the crossbar.

Then in the 68th minute, the Knights’ attack forced a corner kick opportunity. Reeves booted a hard line drive toward the near post. Peterman met the ball with a high leap and headed a shot that tucked into the corner of the goal for the match equalizer.

“I started off in the middle of the box, and our coach told Kristen (Reeves) to do a line drive into the box,” Peterman said. “I knew that it was going near post, so I ran, got my head on it, and flicked it inside the post.”

In other Mater Dei Premier Invitational matches:

No. 1 Aliso Niguel 2, Arcadia 0: First half goals from Stephanie Domingue and Lindsay Doyle helped the Wolverines (7-1-1) defeat the Apaches and advance to the semifinals against Harvard-Westlake.

No. 10 Los Alamitos 3, Bishop Amat 1: Raya Young scored twice to lead the Griffins (5-2-2) into the semifinals against Villa Park. Rachel Price also scored for Los Alamitos.

Villa Park 1, Beckman 1: Naydeen Cabalo's second half goal helped the Spartans (6-2-2) play to a draw against the Patriots (3-3-3).

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