The Port Of Los Angeles High girls soccer team has done what they needed to do in the regular season, now they can finally move forward to what they've been planning for since the season began... the CIF-Los Angeles City Section playoffs.
Head coach Javier Torres will be in his first playoff race with the Crosstown League champion Polar Bears, who were chosen as the third seeded team in Division III. POLA (15-5-1 overall, 8-0 in league), who toughened themselves up playing bigger schools in the San Pedro Pirate Cup Tournament in January, will take on a wild card winner on Thursday, 3pm at Daniels Field.
Either No.19 Middle College or No.14 USC-MAST will have the right to see if they can knock off the Polar Bears, who was the runner-up in Division III last season to two-time defending champion Los Angeles CES, who is the top seed of this year's playoffs.
Should the Polar Bears win two games in a row, a potential semifinals rematch with second-seeded Fulton of Van Nuys could occur on Thursday, February 21. POLA defeated Fulton, 2-0 in last year's semifinals on the strength of two goals by senior forward Nikki Bonilla.
Senior midfielder Alyssa Bristol, junior forward Samantha Foxworthy, and sophomores Melissa Rodriguez, Ariella Martinez, Tiffany Torres and Isabela Van Antwerp are very dangerous along with Bonilla. The Polar Bears also have a one-two punch patrolling the net in junior goalie Nicole Sierra and freshman goalie Daisy Garcia.
The championship game for all divisions will take place Saturday, March 2 at Miguel Contreras High School in Downtown Los Angeles.
Here is the full bracket.
CIF-LOS ANGELES CITY SECTION GIRLS SOCCER DIVISION III
Play-in games, Tuesday, 2:30 p.m.
#17 Camino Nuevo at #16 Discovery Prep
#20 New Millennium at #13 Animo de la Hoya
#19 Middle College at #14 USC-MaST
#18 New Designs at #15 Elizabeth
First round, Thursday, 3 p.m.
Discovery Prep/Camino Nuevo at #1 Los Angeles CES
#9 Foshay at #8 Animo Robinson
#12 Sun Valley at #5 Bright Star
Animo de la Hoya/New Millennium at #4 Annenberg
USC-MAST/Middle College at #3 PORT OF LOS ANGELES
#11 Bernstein at #6 Mendez
#10 Huntington Park College Ready at #7 Animo Venice
Elizabeth/New Designs at #2 Fulton