HomeBlocksFront-GridSan Marino Proves Too Much for La Cañada

San Marino Proves Too Much for La Cañada

It was a high-leverage matchup in Rio Hondo League girls’ soccer when San Marino High hosted La Cañada with the Titans looking up to the Spartans in league standings.
On the field it was all San Marino, as the hosts scored all of their goals in the first half while shutting out La Cañada for a 5-0 win in league play on Jan. 17.
“I think [San Marino] just came out with a little more attitude and effort and got to the ball first,” La Cañada coach Kevin Neumeier said. “We made a few mistakes that cost us goals and we didn’t pick ourselves up. We just hung our heads. … We have to do a better job rebounding off of that — when you make a mistake and come out stronger.”
The Jan. 17 contest not only featured two of the three top teams in the Rio Hondo League. San Marino and La Cañada are among the top-ranked teams in their respective CIF Southern Section divisions. The Titans were ranked No. 3 in CIF-SS Division V polls, while the Spartans were No. 7 in the Division IV rankings released Jan. 16 ahead of their Rio Hondo League showdown.
Following the matchup, San Marino was bumped up to No. 2 in the Division V rankings and La Cañada slipped to No. 8 in Division IV, according to the latest CIF polls released Jan. 22.
“I think the team was eager to come out and play, and it showed as they were on their front foot from the very beginning,” San Marino coach Jaime Acuna said. “We just put them under pressure and didn’t let up.”
San Marino controlled the action throughout the first half, and in a span of nearly 13 minutes, the Titans netted five goals. Titan sophomore Madison No led the way with two goals.
The first for No came in the 20th minute, scoring off of a rebound from teammate Sofia Rodriguez.
The second goal came from another Titan sophomore in the 23rd minute when Makayla Tokuchi snatched possession from a La Cañada defender deep in the box. Tokuchi took her time after that before beating the Spartan goalkeeper to her left with a shot on the ground to make it 2-0.
Two minutes later, No got her second goal heading in a San Marino high-flying cross. In the 31st minute, San Marino was awarded a free kick approximately 23 yards out on the right side, which Titans senior Sasha Redshaw slotted home for a 4-0 San Marino advantage.
The final goal of the contest came in the 33rd minute, off the foot of Rodriguez. The freshman once again drove the ball deep down the left side before cutting in toward the goal with her dribble. Rodriguez then struck a low-driving shot, just off the turf, to beat the goalkeeper near post for the score.
Spartan Samantha Hosford’s shot in the 37th minute that forced a relatively easy save from Titan goalkeeper Callista Tan was the visitors’ best chance to score in the opening 40 minutes.
The biggest challenge for the Titan backline came in the first half, as they had to deal with Samantha Neumeier, who is committed to play at Oregon when her La Cañada career comes to an end, playing up front before she moved back in the second half to shore up the defense.
Ava Kibbee minded the net for San Marino in the second half and preserved the clean sheet. She saw significantly more action than Tan as the Spartan attack showed more promise. However, despite that, and San Marino shifting players out of their regular positions, the hosts still captured their third shutout of the season and second in league.

First published in the January 25 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.


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