CLAREMONT – In a season when most girls’ soccer teams were limited to no tournaments and only league games, the CIF Southern Section Division 2 playoff game on Wednesday was still known in the first round.
Claremont retaliated a disgruntled loss to Oak Hills in the quarterfinals of last year’s playoffs and took control early on on the way to a 4-0 win at Claremont High School.
The wolf packs (12-3) play on Friday in the moor park (7-1-2).
“We played well. That first half was our better half. We had a good pace, ”said Tim Tracey, Claremont coach. “At the beginning of the season we tried to find out a few things, but we go twice in every position.”
The win was the eighth in a row for Claremont and the seventh in a row.
It was a very different game than last year when hosts Oak Hills beat Claremont 1-0 on the way to the final.
“We had no opponents together but we knew Claremont was a solid squad,” said Oak Hills coach Joe Kulm. “You could have won everything last year.”
Tracey admitted that last year’s game was on her mind.
“We didn’t want to take it lightly. We have a lot of returnees who were very motivated, ”said Tracey.
With the wind (18 mph) and the sun behind her for the first half, Tracey wanted his team to be in control, and it did.
First, Mia Gomez took a shot from the edge of the box on the left of goalkeeper Lacey Jolly and led 1-0 in the eighth minute.
Then, after several other chances, including a shot from the crossbar, Amelia Loeffler threw a shot past Jolly in the 23rd minute. And about two minutes later, it was Maiya Blanchard who slid a shot past Jolly and a 3-0 lead at halftime.
“We did some better things in the second half, especially in midfield,” said Kulm. “If it was 1-0 (at halftime) we still have a chance.”
Possession and chances were more even in the second half, but Maddie Coles scored a 52nd-minute Riley Zitar free kick against Kendall Ness to thwart any thought of a comeback.
The best chance for Oak Hills (7-3-1) had Sydney Middaugh, who was stopped at close range in the 58th minute by Gianna Bonnett.
“I’m really proud of the girls,” said Kulm. “We made some adjustments and fought. We did a good job. We started four freshmen and two second year students. “