The Port Of Los Angeles High girls soccer team is back in the CIF-Los Angeles City Section Small Schools Division championship, and that means it's one final opportunity for six seniors to be doused in championship splendor.
For one senior in particular, it's also one more chance for Alyssa Bristol to end a long four-year journey with a ring.
The midfielder started her prep soccer career as a JV player at San Pedro High School, and she helped lead the Pirates to the 2010 Marine League championship, their 11th in a row. During that year, Bristol was one of the top scorers on the team with seven goals.
Bristol would then transfer to POLA for academics during her sophomore season, and would instantly become a vocal and inspirational leader for a young program.
During the 2011 season, Bristol would lead the Polar Bears with 16 goals and their first Crosstown League title in their first year of playing girls soccer. POLA would reach the semifinals, where they would lose to LACES. Bristol also had six assists that season.
In 2012, Bristol would score 18 more goals and lead the team with 15 assists, as POLA would once again win the Crosstown League, and nearly piled up a perfect season at 17-1 overall.
Once again, LACES stood in the way of Bristol and the Polar Bears with a 2-1 win in the City Section Small Schools championship game. Bristol scored the tying goal of the match in the 43rd minute, and nearly tied it again with two minutes left on a shot attempt that hooked left by a couple of inches.
As the 2012-2013 school year kicked in, Bristol joined the volleyball team for the first time, and got a little measure of retribution when the Polar Bears knocked off LACES in the CIF-Los Angeles City Section Small Schools quarterfinals, but again Bristol was denied a championship when the Polar Bears let a 2-1 lead slip away in the finals against Elizabeth Learning Center of Cudahy, who would win the title in five sets.
On Saturday, Bristol has one final opportunity to finally defeat the pesky Unicorns in the City Section Small Schools finals, 10am at Miguel Contreras Learning Center in Los Angeles.
This season, Bristol remains one of the top goal scorers for POLA (18-5-1 this season) with 13 goals and is third on the team with 11 assists. During the Polar Bears' current playoff run, the four-year veteran and team co-captain (along with fellow senior Stephanie Torres) has scored a goal in all three playoff victories over USC-Mast, Bernstein of Hollywood and Fulton College Prep of Van Nuys.
Bristol, who is interested in Cal State Dominguez Hills and wants to major in anything soccer or sports-related, was also in the running for POLA's Homecoming Queen earlier in the year. She owns a current 3.3 GPA.
Come Saturday, Bristol hopes to own something else... a City Section championship ring.