East County Sports

Helix, Valhalla win section championships

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The Helix Highlanders – 2015-16 San Diego Division III CIF champions

By Damon Santore

Helix 1, Mission Vista 0 – The Helix Highlanders looked to capture the San Diego DIII CIF championship. Before they could hoist the trophy and celebrate they had one more challenge in the form of the Mission Vista soccer team, who had its own goals so close to completion. Both teams coming into the final have had almost identical seasons in the way of goals for/against. Helix (49GF, 16GA) had a slight advantage in goals against; Mission Vista (53GF, 19GA) was slightly better on offense virtually evening the teams. The game would take place at Mesa College on Saturday.

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Helix executing the game-winning goal.

The first half was tight, both sides putting on a brilliant display of passing and defense. Playing the way to a 0-0 draw in the first half, the possibility of penalty kicks loomed if both teams kept up their strong defensive performances.

Helix was able to take a 1-0 lead on a goal by Gabrielle Root and hang on behind their season long string of great defense.

Helix will have to put their CIF championship celebration on hold as they look to ride this momentum into the Southern California Regional Girls Championship. Helix will take on the Yorba Linda Mustangs on Tuesday, March 8 at 4 p.m. on the road.

Senior Dominique Banks made the pass to Root, as Helix won its first title since 1998.

Banks and Root were among eight players back for fourth-seeded Helix (14-3-6) from the team that bowed in the final two years ago to Serra on penalty kicks. Last season, the Highlanders lost their playoff opener.

Goalkeeper Hannah Ghannam had  two saves for Helix.

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Valhalla after winning the championship.

Valhalla 3, University City 0 – Valhalla looked to cap off their remarkable season with a win in the DII Girls CIF Championship against University City High School.

Valhalla and University City met earlier this season guaranteeing the two teams have some knowledge of how each other play. The game in December played to a 0-0 draw; both managers taking away what they could knowing a playoff matchup might be in the cards.

Valhalla has played behind a great defense all year, only allowing 17 goals this season which is an accomplishment in itself.

Valhalla, the No. 7-seed, jumped to a 1-0 leading almost securing the title with that goal. Valhalla tallied two more goals in the second half securing the DII championship along the way. The Norse lost in the title game last season.

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Katelyn De Went makes a save for Valhalla in the title game.

Goals from Carly De Went, Quinn Rafferty, and Stephanie Fox gave Valhalla more than enough leverage behind outstanding goalkeeping from Brianna Thompson (2 saves, 0 goals allowed), who played in goal over the final minutes of the game, and starter Katelyn De Went (6 saves, 0 goals allowed) to achieve victory.

With the DII Championship won, Valhalla will set their sights on the CIF Southern California Regional Girls Soccer Championship. Valhalla has a home playoff soccer game Tuesday, March 8 at 4 p.m. against the El Dorado Golden Hawks.

The championship was the fourth all-time for Valhalla (14-6-5) and first since 2004.

Orange Glen 3, El Cajon Valley 1 – The El Cajon Valley Lady Braves were looking at their first chance at a CIF Division V championship this past weekend. The Lady Braves took on Orange Valley Glen High School in a game that matched two offensive teams against each other.

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El Cajon Valley lines up prior to the start of the championship game.

Could El Cajon Valley pull off their straight shoot out win?

The goals came early and often as expected. El Cajon Valley scored a goal of their own but ultimately Orange Glen’s attack was too much for the Lady Braves defense. A final score of 3-1 ended what was a remarkable season for El Cajon Valley.

Samantha Solano scored late in the first half to tie the game for El Cajon Valley.




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