Prep Impressions: Feb. 24, 2012

La Serna dominated play in a 5-0 victory over Woodcrest Christian on Friday. / DENNIS POPE PHOTOS

I covered the Whittier La Serna-Riverside Woodcrest Christian CIF-Southern Section Division 5 Quarterfinal Round girls varsity playoff game for The Press-Enterprise on Friday, Feb. 24, 2012, and came away thinking I was watching teams two teams going at different speeds.

Woodcrest Christian did its best to maintain a competitive amount of momentum. That lasted only the first 15 minutes, however, as the Royals soon broke down without anyone capable of re-igniting the engine.

Conversly, La Serna was an engine humming at full capacity. Every piece seems finely tuned and to be working efficiently. A 5-0 scoreline has a lot to do with that perception, obviously, but the Lancers looked as good as any girls squad I’ve seen this season.

It should be considered a good run for Woodcrest Christian (14-4-4), that is, back-to-back quarterfinals. Woodcrest is a tiny school, with enrollment in the 300-400 range. To be among the best eight teams in your division in consecutive seasons is a fate most prep coaches would gladly accept.

La Serna coach Tessa Troglia:
“I think our ability to get left-to-right extremely fast. Jen Reed does a really good job of playing that role for us. I think being able to keep possession of the ball for a good remainder of the game helps us, and it creates chances for us. We had a lot of opportunities because we had the ball at our feet, we’re offensive. It seems like we’re becoming more of a well-balanced team. It’s not just one or two girls, we have many girls contributing, and that’s exactly the style that we’re going for. We’re not wearing down one player or expecting one player to carry the burden. Everyone’s done a fair share of contributing offensively. This is good momentum going forward for us. Going into the semifinals, winning a game 5-0… I think that we’re finishing the chances that we’re getting and we’re creating chances from different areas, and different combination of players.”

Woodcrest Christian coach Jenna Whitty:
“We just couldn’t get to where we wanted to be. That step behind, just being tired. They’re just beat at this poitn. We tried to lay off them a little bit yesterday at practice but I could just see it in their faces. They were just tired today, and they’ve played so well up until this point. They just couldn’t get where they wanted to be. Their legs were heavy, and they were up against a very good team, a very quick team. That was hard for us today. I expected this team to get here because they are a very good group of girls, and I’m so proud of what they’ve accomplished this year. The seniors this year have laid a very good path for the underclassmen. They set a high standard.”

Woodcrest Christian senior Monica Gomez:
“I think we weren’t closing down fast enough on their passes through the middle. We gave them more of an opportunity to play the ball long. Considering soccer is just coming up through our school, I think (consecutive quarterfinal appearances) is good accomplishment. I think in the next few years we could get through the quarters and get to the semis and finals. I just think it’s a matter of time.”

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