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O.C. teams off to strong start in playoffs
The CIF-SS girls soccer playoffs began this week and the county's top teams and players provided lots of highlights.
Here is a look back at some of the big storylines from the first round and a look ahead to the second round.
The first round of the Division 1 playoffs saw three county teams come through with big road victories.
San Clemente defeated Baseline League champion Upland, 1-0, in double overtime on a goal by junior Nikki Faris. The Highlanders were undefeated at home and had won 22 of 25 matches during the regular season.
• Laguna Hills used a first-half goal by senior defender Kassi Olivas to defeat Flintridge Sacred Heart, 1-0. The goal was the first of the season for Olivas. It was also the first time this season the Tologs had been defeated on their home field.
• After dropping two in a row at home to close the regular season, Mission Viejo went on the road to snap its losing streak with a 2-1 victory at Redlands. Kiana Palacios scored the winner in the second half to hand the Terriers their first home defeat of the season.
SOUTH COAST POWER
Considered by many to be one of the toughest leagues in the nation, the South Coast League lived up to its reputation in the first round. All four South Coast teams advanced to the second round.
In addition to San Clemente and Mission Viejo winning on the road, Aliso Niguel defeated Alta Loma, 2-1, and Dana Hills blanked University, 2-0. The Century League had three teams advance to the second round — Villa Park, Esperanza and Canyon.
Defense might be the key ingredient to winning championships, but there were several offensive stars who produced big matches in the first round.
Santa Margarita's Lauren Rodriguez, Capistrano Valley's Alex Hussar, Katella's Syprus Ohanesian, St. Margaret's Allie Frost, Edison's Mackenzie Cerda and Segerstrom's Vivian Vega all recorded hat tricks while leading their teams into the second round.
Segerstrom's unblemished record — 17-0 — continued in the first round of Division 6 as it defeated Savanna, 4-0.
Taking a look at Tuesday's second-round matchups:
San Clemente will be host to Santa Margarita in the first meeting of the teams since the 2011 Division 1 semifinals. ...
Defending Division 1 champion Aliso Niguel will be on the road at Edison. The Chargers are unbeaten in their past 11 matches (8-0-3). ...
Other matches between county schools include Villa Park at Laguna Hills and Capistrano Valley at Northwood.
O.C. NAMES AND NUMBERS
10 star players from the first-round games:
Allie Scott, Laguna Hills
Camila Espindola-Villarino, Canyon
Denise Hernandez, Katella
Taylor Bistline, Pacifica
Jackie Hubbard, Estancia
Genesis Alonso, Santa Ana Valley
Maddie Castle, Saddleback Valley Christian
Megan Stoll, Saddleback Valley Christian
Brooke Lillywhite, Edison
Caitlin Leahy, Estancia
10 teams we expect to make it past the second-round games:
Santa Ana Valley
Saddleback Valley Christian
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