East County Sports

Valhalla, Helix gain finals berths in dramatic fashion

Helix celebrates the game's only goal by Andrea Lee, as the Highlanders advanced to the CIF finals on Tuesday.

By Damon Santore

The San Diego CIF semifinals took place on Tuesday (March 1), and with the championship one game away, the ultimate prize was within grasp.

Three East County Teams were still alive in their hunt for gold. How did they fair? Did they make the championship? All three games were decided by one goal or a shootout. Exciting soccer down to the last moments. Fans in attendance were not disappointed.

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West Hills huddles prior to taking the field on Tuesday during the CIF semifinals in Santee.

D II Semifinals

Both finals featured an East County team.

West Hills was the power house in DII for one simple reason: They had not been defeated this season coming into the game against University City with a stellar record of  17-0-7.

This would be no easy contest though, as University City had earned their right for a chance at a CIF title.

West Hills and their stellar defense/goalie combo all season, allowed an awe-inspiring 9 goals against, and did what they have done all year.

Keep the ball from the back of the net.

After overtime, the game was still scoreless. Penalty kicks would decide who goes onto the DII championship.

West Hills and their remarkable season were brought to an end after being defeated 3-2 on penalty kicks.

West Hills and head coach Robert Romero did an amazing job this season, climbing all the way up to an 83 national ranking.

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Valhalla celebrates the decisive goal late in the game by Jenny Fox.

Meanwhile, the Valhalla Lady Norsemen looked to advance to the DII championship with a win over Patrick Henry.

Valhalla was able to pull off a 1-0 win over Patrick Henry on a neutral site to advance to the DII championship.

It was a closely contested game throughout with neither team pulling away.

In the second half of action, Valhalla was able to take the lead in the 40th minute on a terrific goal by Jenny Fox. Fox scored the game-deciding goal on an awesome assist from Raemi Dewitt. Dewitt outmaneuvered a pair of defenders to touch a cross to a following Fox along the left side approaching the goal box.

Valhalla will look to continue to play a strong team game on the back of their defense which has done an extraordinary job all season allowing only 17 goals.

Valhalla plays University City on March 5th at 4:30 p.m. for the DII CIF girls soccer championship. The game will take place at a neutral playoff site – Olympian High School

D III Semifinals

The Helix Highlanders were looking to advance to the division III championship against Mission Vista, but had to defeat Olympian High School in order to advance.

Another defensive battle ensued as neither team was able to take a big lead.

Olympian (18-6-3) throughout the season has had a good time defeating their opponents.

As Helix took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Andrea Lee, the Highlanders knew Olympian would come strong to try and tie with the championship game on the line.

Olympian and their powerhouse of an offense did not have an answer for Helix’s strong defense. Helix and their defensive third have been great all season allowing only 16 goals against in 19 games.

Helix will look to bring home the gold against Mission Vista on Saturday March 5 at 11 a.m. at Mesa College.

Mission Vista is the slight favorite, but both teams are very similar statistically this season.  This will be a battle from start to finish and will most likely come down to wire.

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