A potential game-tying shot by Alyssa Bristol just crossed harmlessly past the goal at Miguel Contreras High in Downtown Los Angeles with two minutes left in the CIF-Los Angeles City Section Small Schools championship against LACES, allowing the Unicorns to escape with a 2-1 win, and a second straight title. That demoralizing loss prevented the Polar Bears not only from winning their first championship, it also ended a potential perfect season.
Seriously, 17-1 is a record not to sneeze at, but POLA is thirsting for more in 2012-2013.
First-year coach Javier Torres, who takes over for the departed Jennifer Kelly, inherits a dangerous team who returns all but two seniors from last year's team that steamrolled through the Crosstown League undefeated, and won several games by shutout.
POLA has two electrifying All-City returning players in Bristol, a senior midfielder, and senior forward Nikki Bonilla, who each both scored 18 goals. These two captains, along with incredible junior goalie Nicole Sierra, will be the anchors that hold the Polar Bears together.
However, it doesn't stop with those three.
Senior forward Melissa Rodriguez, senior defenders Marisa Reyes and Stephanie Torres, sophomore midfielders Ariella Martinez, Samantha Walker and Tiffany Torres, freshman midfielder Amanda Lazo, junior defender Belisaria Mercado sophomore sweeper Isabela Van Antwerp and junior midfielder Samantha Foxworthy are all more than capable players for the Polar Bears, who begin the 2012-2013 season against Foshay of Los Angeles at Daniels Field on Wednesday.
Sophomore forward Connor Wright and defender Alena Higgins are two more newcomers to POLA girls soccer, who is the odds-on favorite to repeat as Crosstown League champions and make another run at the City Section Small Schools Division crown.