As we head down the home stretch, several teams are making a late title run during the current playoffs for the CIF-Los Angeles City and Southern Sections in the world of San Pedro Prep Soccer for the 2018-19 season. All six teams made their respective CIF playoffs, with four of them winning league titles.
San Pedro and Port of Los Angeles High Schools were both affected by the LAUSD Teacher’s Strike, which eliminated some games off their schedule. Additionally, both soccer teams
at POLA were affected by rainstorms, which cancelled half of their Imperial League schedules. The one school that swept both league titles was Mary Star in the Camino Real League, with the boys’ team winning a remarkable 20 games. Here’s how all the teams fared:
SAN PEDRO (7-8-4 overall) – The Pirates were not able to repeat the heroics of 2018 when they won the CIF-LACS Division 4 title. The team fell short 2-1 in overtime to Hollywood in the quarterfinals of Division 3, yet they still managed to stay competitive under first-year coaches Ryan Hart and Michael Ortiz. Junior Billy Lopez, the hero of last year’s title win over University, was sensational for the Pirates, who were also paced by seniors Juan Retana, Yeremi Diego-Vargas, Peter Page, and junior Ben Behar. San Pedro placed third in the Marine League going 3-2-2, finishing third behind eventual champion Banning and runner-up Narbonne.
MARY STAR (20-3-2 overall) – This was Chris Guastella’s finest team in his five years of coaching. The Stars overcame an early tough start in Cami-no Real League play with a tie against St. Anthony and a loss to St. Genevieve, then storming back to win the other eight league encounters in succession for their first league crown since 2016. Unfortunately, their dreams for a CIF-SS Division 6 championship came to an end when Mary Star lost a 1-0 double overtime heartbreaker to Brentwood at Daniels Field on February 7. The Stars were devastating in 2018-19, outscor-ing the competition 124-19 in their 25 games. Key players that did most of the damage were seniors Chris Tyler and Noah Guastella, sophomore Nelson Cordova and junior Jackson Dileva.
POLA (4-5 overall) – Due to the rainouts and the strike, the Polar Bears only played nine games. They made them count with two CIF-LACS Divi-sion 5 playoff wins, the more notable being a first round 2-1 double overtime win over Bravo before the season ended on February 13 with a 4-1 loss to USC Hybrid in the quarterfinals. Javier Torres crossed over from the girls’ program to be the boys’ coach, and POLA finished fifth in their first year of Imperial League competition. Only playing five games, the Polar Bears went 2-3 in league and even impressed in their only nonleague game, a 1-0 loss to San Pedro on December 14, 2018.
SAN PEDRO (15-2-1 overall) – The Pirates and four-year mother-daughter coaches Crystal Valdes and Chatelaine Ansaldi continue to maintain their Marine League monopoly as they won all seven league games by shutout for an unprecedented 14th consecutive league crown. San Pedro also won 14 games in a row before their 2018 season ended in a thud, with a 5-0 loss to defending CIF-LACS Division 1 champion El Camino Real in the semifinals on February 19. Senior Samantha Martinez and junior Renee Ketner once again were a deadly combo, while senior Reyna Salas, sophomores Karina Martinez and Kaylie Sutrin, plus the emergence of sophomore Briana Johnson and junior goalie Katelyn Viducic, posted stellar seasons for San Pedro, who also won their own Lady Pirate Cup Tournament for the third time in four years.
MARY STAR (10-6-1 overall) – The Mary Star girls returned to league championship success in the Camino Real for the first time since their back-to-back Santa Fe League crowns in 2015 and 2016. Former Mary Star standout Jordyn Alves returned to her alma mater to coach, and immediately the Stars’ script flipped in the right direction. Several veterans stepped up for the Stars, like seniors Rose Amalfitano and Jena Denardo, along with junior Nina Campbell. Freshman Maddie Purves emerged as a breakout Star, while sophomore Haley Doyle and junior Reyna Matos provided quick strike ability. Junior Kaya Lindberg also emerged as a first-rate goalie. Stars won their CIF-SS Division 7 opener 2-1 over St. Monica Academy before their season ended with a 4-0 loss at St. Bonaventure in the second round on February 8.
POLA (5-2 overall) – The Polar Bears’ lone two losses bookended their five wins, all in the Imperial League, to become the first sport at POLA to win an Imperial League title. Still, that is commonplace to the only program in town to win a CIF girls soccer title, as this is POLA’s eighth league championship in nine years, but the first under new coach Treena Bozart. In all five league wins, junior Keely Bales was sensational with 15 goals, while senior Amber Lopez piled up 11 goals and 11 assists for POLA, who got a stellar performance when needed from sophomore goalie Kiana Nelson. Other players who stood out for POLA were juniors Lizbeth Becerra and Yaslin Mora, and seniors Kendall Dimson and Giselle Mora, the golden goal scorer of the 2017 Division 2 title win over Grant.