CIF soccer playoffs: La Quinta girls earn top seed

CIF soccer playoffs: La Quinta girls earn top seed

News

CIF soccer playoffs: La Quinta girls earn top seed

By

The unbeaten streak lasted two months. It stretched over 15 games and included 11 shutouts. Few teams from the desert had ever been this dominant.

But even after rolling into the playoffs and knocking off three opponents in succession, the 2012-13 girls’ soccer team at La Quinta High School still managed to fall short of a CIF championship.

Despite the best season in school history, the Blackhawks lost, 3-2, in the Division V semifinals. Twenty wins wasn’t quite enough.

Dreams of winning a CIF title would have to wait.

Twelve months later, the waiting has come to an end.

The La Quinta girls (20-1-1) earned the top overall seed in the Division 5 playoff pairings, which were released by the CIF-SS office Monday. The Blackhawks will face the winner of Lakeside and Temple City on Friday in what will be the first step toward remedying last season’s devastating playoff loss.

“We like the draw a lot,” La Quinta coach Bob Quattlebaum said. “There could be some tough games ahead, but we like where we stand and we’ll be ready.”

Cathedral City, the No. 2 team from the Desert Valley League, will travel to Hemet Friday in what should be a tough matchup with the Mountain Pass League champions. Shadow Hills will travel to Santa Ana.

Three teams from the DVL will play on the road Wednesday in the wild card round. Xavier Prep will play at Aquinas, a team the Knights beat, 1-0, on Nov. 27. Palm Desert will travel to Sage Hill, and a Palm Springs will go to Temescal Canyon.

On the boys’ side, Coachella Valley earned the top seed from the DVL, and will start with a home game in Division II on Thursday.

The Arabs will play Colton. La Quinta, the co-DVL champion, will also have a Thursday home game, against Centennial (Corona). Palm Desert will play at Bloomington.

The Cathedral City boys will play in the wild card round Tuesday at Lynwood.

The Lions finished in fifth place in the DVL, without the guarantee of an automatic playoff spot. But by virtue of 15 regular season wins, Cathedral City still got in.

In Division V, Desert Mirage, the De Anza League champs, will begin its quest for another CIF title on Thursday at home against the winner of Estancia and Diamond Ranch.

Shadow Hills will play Tuesday at home against Victory Valley in the wild card round, and Desert Hot Springs will go on the road to face Citrus Hill.

Fortunately, several teams from the DVL will face teams in the early rounds that aren’t ranked as high by coaches within the division. That could make a difference.

And when it comes to the playoffs, it’s all about matchups, and which team is playing the best, and has the experienced players who know how to keep their nerves in check and take care of business.

There are multiple teams from the desert that have that going.

The La Quinta girls would have to be at the top of the list.

“We’re playing our best soccer right now,” senior forward Brielle Leon said. “We have a goal, and we’re going to really go after it. Last year is just further motivation.”

Latest

More USA TODAY High School Sports