Crusaders play to a draw
DOWNEY – You can relive the past. Just ask Valley Christian girls soccer coach Kim Looney and Oaks Christian coach Jan Hethcock. Two years ago, the Crusaders and Lions played to a tie in the championship game of the CIF Southern Section Division V. On Saturday, at the Allen Layne Stadium, after 80 minutes of intense play, their teams duplicated that feat by recording a 0-0 tie to win a share of the this year’s crown. “We are two evenly matched teams,” Looney said. “Both teams has their opportunities to put it in the goal. But the defenses steped up. That’s what happened today.” In 2005, the Crusaders and Lions tied at 2-2 to share the title. In fact, Oaks Christian, which entered the playoffs a wild-card entry out of the Tri-Valley League, have shared 4 of the last 6 titles. The Lions tied Notre Dame Academy (2004) and Oak Park (2003). This year’s team won its final three games of league to earn a spot in the playoffs and four consecutive playoff games to advance to the finals. “We had our opportunities. We didn’t capitalize on them,” Hethcock said. “We are a fourth-place team coming in as a wild-card. This is icing on the cake. To be champion four of the past five years, I am absolutely delighted.” In this year’s title game, both teams’ defenses neutralized each other as Valley Christian couldn’t convert 12 of its shots on goal, and the Lions couldn’t put one in on their 13 shot attempts. Crusaders goalie Tracy Boekestein came through with six big saves. “Tracy has got a lot of grit,” Looney said. “When she knows the game is on the line, she is going to everything to get to the ball. She proved that. She had a great game today. She positioned herself well in the field.” In the latter stages of the contest, Valley Christian had several chances to score on breakaways and passes in front of the cage, but Hayley Haagsma, Ashley Haagsma and Sarah McTigue couldn’t put the opportunities in the net. “We pushed hard. We tied two years ago and we wanted to win,” Boekestein said. “Hey, co-champions is great. We’ll take it. We worked hard this year. We came back from .500 record. It was amazing. We pushed really hard at the end, we had a lot of great shots, but we couldn’t get them in the back of the net. It’s a great way to go out my senior year.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!