Daniel's Field and Mary Star Of The Sea High School will be rocking for this small school intersectional prep soccer doubleheader that will be anything but small, as Port Of Los Angeles High will square off against Mary Star Of The Sea in both boys and girls soccer. Three of the four teams featured in this doubleheader all reached the CIF playoffs, with the Polar Bears' dual long playoff runs in the CIF-Los Angeles City Section Small Schools Division being more pronounced.
The girls soccer team, coached by Javier Torres, has reached two straight CIF-LACS Small Schools championship games, ending as the runner-up both years to LACES, and the boys soccer team, coached by first-year head coach Gerry Pineda, reached the semifinals, losing to eventual champion Sun Valley.
Mary Star boys soccer reached the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division VII (7) playoffs after winning a first round road game at New Roads of Santa Monica.
This will not be the first meeting between POLA and Mary Star in boys soccer, as they did meet in a nonleague game during the 2010-2011 season, and the Polar Bears won that inaugural battle, 4-1. The girls soccer meeting between the two will be intriguing because there's some incredible talent that will be showcased.
After reaching the 2012 CIF-Southern Section playoffs and claiming two straight Camino Real League championships, the Stars struggled mightily last season when injuries to key players took their toll, but don't think that Mary Star won't be fired up for this rare meeting with POLA. Coach Filippo Savato still has some incredible talent on his team and it starts with 2012 All-CIF selection Jordyn Alves.
The senior forward has the strongest leg of anyone in San Pedro, scoring 18 goals in 2012, and 14 more in 2013. Alves isn't alone, as seniors Sarah Garcia and Jenna Clarke are all dangerous in their own right.
POLA went 16-5 last season after going 17-1 in the 2011-2012 season, and Torres has four juniors, all best friends, who certainly can pack a scoring punch in Tiffany Torres (no relation to Javier), Isabela Van Antwerp, Samantha Walker and Ariella Martinez. Forward Melissa Rodriguez, another junior, is very skilled, and senior forward Samantha Foxworthy is another scoring threat for the three-time defending Crosstown League champion Polar Bears.
The boys soccer battle will have no shortage of talent either.
POLA went 13-5-4 last season, and returns the likes of senior captain Cesar Garcia, junior Casey Kane, senior forward Giovanny Salazar, and seniors Arturo Arce and Moises Fraere. Mary Star (10-10 overall in 2012-2013) coached by Steve Lucero, counters with seniors Bryan Perez, Steve Mendez and Joey Osborne, sophomores Nick Renfroe and Jarod Alves, and junior Raymond Bravo.
After this battle, POLA boys soccer may stake their claim to be the best team in San Pedro with a victory considering they travel to face San Pedro on December 9. Twin victories over the Pirates and Stars in three days would be a big time accomplishment for a school that hasn't reached its tenth year of existence (POLA was established in 2005).
The boys soccer game will be at Daniels Field (2:30 pm) while the girls game will be at Mary Star High (3 pm).
Expect this doubleheader to bring tons of intrigue, and a lot of curious people to know just which school is the premier one in the sport of soccer.