A staunch defense and a pair of goals from senior Logan LaScola powered the third-seeded host Canyon Crest field hockey team to a CIF Division I quarterfinal victory over 11th seed Cathedral Catholic Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 13.
The win, CCA’s fifth in a row and 11th in its last 13 outings, moves Coach Kiana Duncan’s charges into Thursday’s CIF semi-finals against No. 2 seed Mission Vista. Game time is 3:15 p.m. at Canyon Crest. After earning a first round bye, Duncan was pleased with her team’s 2018 post-season debut.
“I think that it was a good confidence builder,” said the second-year head coach. “We came in feeling we could win but knowing Cathedral wasn’t going to take it easy one us. They’re a young team, but a good team and Vianney Yamada is an excellent coach. We took it seriously and it showed.”
The Ravens got things going early. Just 7:15 had elapsed when sophomore midfielder Jamie Ma opened the scoring on a feed from senior Sela Duncan. Off a short corner, Ma’s shot went off Cathedral goalie Emma Olson, off a defender and into the cage.
A little over six minutes later, LaScola collected her first goal, tipping a shot by freshman Andie Gately into the right side, the play initiated from another corner. That’s how it stood at halftime and with 17:44 remaining in the second half, LaScola erased any hopes of a Cathedral Catholic comeback, this one deflected high and sharp off a Don defender. Gately picked up her second assist.
Asked what she liked about her team’s performance, Duncan smiled and said, “We got everybody in which is always awesome. From a playing perspective, our team marked well and they were pushing up well.
“We were also shooting well—taking their time getting their shots and not forcing things.”
With just over three minutes to go in regulation and a large segment of the Ravens’ starting lineup watching from the sideline, Devin Gaasch got the Dons on the scoreboard tipping in the ball from short range. Athletic senior Anna Hong, the rock on Canyon Crest’s back line was disappointed about surrendering the late score but pleased with the afternoon’s results.
“We definitely wanted the shutout,” said Hong, “but we’re still really happy about the win. I thought our passing and transition play looked good and those are things we’ll want to carry through to next game—we need to stay consistent the whole game, though, and not have any let ups.”
That last item will definitely be part of Duncan’s message when her team faces Mission Vista, a squad that beat the Ravens early in the season.
“I think we can up our game a little bit more, stay more consistent,” she said. “I felt like we hit a wall with about 10 minutes to go in both halves.” Those lulls roughly corresponded with LaScola substituting out of the lineup. While CCA has a strong lineup, her attacking, forward-oriented presence or lack thereof up front makes a difference.
The winner of Thursday’s Canyon Crest-Mission Vista tilt will lock horns with either top-seeded Vista or La Jolla, Saturday at Eastlake High School. Game time is 1 p.m.