SAN JOSE - Mitty junior Svea Neunfinger scored the game winning goal for Mitty on Tuesday, which advances the Monarchs to the CCS Open Division championship game.
In what was a much different game than the one played in early December, in which the Monarchs defeated the Chargers 5-0, the BVAL champion kept a strong defensive shape and had several chances of their own. It was the Monarchs who kept the bulk of the possession and it was JT Hanley's team who outshot the Chargers. Hanley looks to win his fifth CCS championship since taking over the storied Monarch program and are the defending CCS open division champion.
Both teams created golden opportunities in the first five minutes of the game with Teresa Garcia nearly scoring from a great pass from senior captain Katelyn Meyer. Leland responded two minutes later with Leland super sophomore Rebecca Womer almost capitalizing on a free kick. Indeed Womer, who had notched 10 goals on the season, looked the most dangerous attacker for the Chargers throughout and constantly kept Monarch defenders on their heels.
After an opening flurry between the two teams the Monarchs took a well deserved lead after a scramble in the box with Neunfinger scoring her seventh goal of the season in the seventeenth minute. The goal certainly took some air out of the mostly pro Leland crowd while the Monarch contingent became louder.
The Monarchs played without senior and Cal Poly commit Camille Lafaix who has been fighting an injury, and her playing status for Friday night is questionable. Despite Lafaix not playing, the Monarch depth is unquestioned as is its depth of talent.
While the first half had Leland sitting back a lot, giving the Monarch back line plenty of time on the ball but little space in the attacking third, the second half saw the Chargers push forward led by Womer, Jessica Simms and leading goalscorer freshman Ruby Teixera. However the Monarch midfield stifled out any attack the Chargers threw at the Monarchs. The work rate in the midfield from the Monarchs was lead by sophomore sensation Emma Vane and junior Erika Silveira. The Vane family line has a long history of athletic success with Mitty, including her brother who was a star in the Monarch basketball program.
The Monarchs will get a chance at redemption against the one team they haven't been able to crack yet this year, WCAL champion St. Ignatius in Friday night's open championship game. St. Ignatius, Prep2Preps #1 ranked team, will play in its first ever CCS open final after defeating Mountain View 2-0 Tuesday afternoon. In WCAL play St. Ignatius and Mitty played to a 1-1 draw in San Jose and St. Ignatius came out victorious 2-0 in San Francisco to essentially clinch the WCAL championship.