Unfamiliarity seems to be the theme as there are several intriguing interleague matchups in the CCS finals being contested Saturday at Del Mar and Fremont high schools.
Division 1: #4 Mountain View (13-5-3) vs #6 Ann Sobrato (13-4-4) @ Del Mar, 3:00 pm
After competing for in the Open Division for the past few years the Spartans fell just short of another SCVAL crown. Mountain View has arguably become the dominant girls public school in the section with three section titles, including one Open Division, in the past decade.
Two goals from junior Sistine Noel off assists from sophomore Julia Webster was enough for the Spartans to get past Notre Dame-Belmont in the semifinals. The goals were Noel’s team-leading 12th and 13th goals of the season.
The Bulldogs continue to build on their recent success as they look for their first-ever CCS championship. Sobrato reached the CCS Division 2 finals in 2017, losing 2-0 to Presentation. The Bulldogs also reached the 2018 Open semis, losing 4-0 to Mountain View. Sobrato is in position to win its first title in large part to a special freshman, Tea Reyes, who scored two goals in their semifinal win over Gunn. Reyes, who has 15 goals for the season, also had an assist in Sobrato’s 1-0 quarterfinal victory over Branham, with junior Erin Hodge scoring the game-winner.
Division 2: #3 Santa Cruz (15-3-5) vs #4 South San Francisco (16-3-2) @ Del Mar, 12:30pm
The Cardinals pulled off an upset in the semifinals by defeating No. 2 Homestead in Cupertino on Wednesday. In the quarterfinals Santa Cruz defeated Leland, avenging one of their three losses on the season when they lost to the Chargers in December. The Cardinals haven’t lost a game since the end of January.
South San Francisco defeated Capuchino in the semifinals behind two goals from senior Alexandra Arouxet-Jara. The Warriors feature a balanced attack which includes Arouxet-Jara (12 goals), Fatima Waldo-Garcia (10) and Bianca Gonzalez (9). Defensively the Warriors are led by senior Leilani Jara.
Division 3: #5 Burlingame (10-4-7) vs #8 Menlo (11-4-7) @ Fremont, 10:00 am
Burlingame is looking for its first CCS championship since 2009 and got to the final on a pair of 1-0 victories over Aragon and Pioneer.
Menlo is the only No. 8 seed in either playoffs to make the final and needed a late goal in the second half over Palo Alto to clinch their spot. Menlo won the Division 1 championship last season, and is looking for its third CCS title in five years.
Division 4: #3 Salinas (12-5-4) vs #4 Sacred Heart Prep (9-6-6) @ Fremont, 12:30pm
Salinas defeated league rival Alisal 1-0 to advance to the finals and is looking for its first-ever CCS championship in girls soccer. In the quarterfinals, the Cowboys had to play another Monterey Bay area team in Pajaro Valley.
Meanwhile, the Gators have won their two CCS games by a combined 11 goals and seem to be peaking at the right time. With a demanding league schedule and tough non-league schedule, the Gators are led in attack by junior Megan Tinsley (12 goals) and freshman Iris O’Conner (10).