By Alex Payne
Special to the Outlook
The La Salle High School varsity girls’ soccer team advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division 4 finals following a 1-0 victory over visiting Palm Desert at last Saturday.
The Lancers will host St. Margaret’s of San Juan Capistrano in the CIF-SS Division 4 championship match this Saturday at 5 p.m. The program last competed in a title game in 2007 when La Salle defeated Torrance Bishop Montgomery, 1-0.
Sophomore Celine Akroush scored the game-winner in the 15th minute off a free kick at the top of the box. La Salle got the call after the Aztecs goalkeeper picked up the ball outside of the penalty area. Akroush bent the ball past the goalie, scoring what turned out to be the game-winner.
“It’s going to go in,” Akroush said what went through her mind prior to kicking the ball. “It’s going to hit the back of the net.”
La Salle (17-5 overall record) didn’t let up and kept attacking Palm Desert. The Lancers had 17 shots and fought for every loose ball. The tenacity was evident with two Lancers receiving yellow cards. Senior Anaise Nugent and Yocelyn Marquez tired the Aztecs players with their relentless attack towards goal and passing.
Marquez orchestrated two of the Lancers’ best plays, one being a quick pass that led to another free kick attempt for Akroush that went slightly left of the goal. The other was a high-bending shot attempt that was barely tipped out by the opposing goalie.
Aztec fans had but a few moments to cheer for besides shot attempts by seniors Kaitlin Clapinski and Lindsay Forester. Kaci Holliday seemed to have scored Palm Desert’s first goal as time expired but the ball went wide right by inches, hitting the side net.