Huntington Beach High’s girls soccer team returned from Bullard on Thursday night in a plush charter bus called “White Rose Limousine.”
It was a fitting ride for the Oilers after their 6-0 demolition of the fourth-seeded Knights in the Southern California Division I semifinals, a victory that was nothing short of limo-worthy class.
12-0combined goal differential in losses for three Central Section teams in Thursday’s Southern California soccer regional
And it went a long way in helping explain how No. 8 Huntington Beach throttled top seed Torrey Pines-San Diego 3-0 in a Tuesday quarterfinal.
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That gave Bullard a home game and spared it a 330-mile bus trip to Torrey Pines.
We knew coming in what they had but it’s hard to defend when they’re are taller and jump higher.
Bullard High coach Onesta Francis on the Southern California Regional matchup versus Huntington Beach
It did not, however, keep the 17-8-2 Knights from a wire-to-wire beating by a 22-8-4 team that received goals from six fundamentally gifted players – and not one a senior.
But the Oilers did have a senior on stage – Arkansas-bound goalkeeper Rachel Harris, who routinely bombed 40- to 50-yard kicks.
All in all, what a powerful team. And no matter that the Southern Section D-I semifinalist arrived as a No. 8 seed.
The Oilers face No. 2 JSerra-San Juan Capistrano on Saturday for the SoCal D-I title.
“Real tough team and one of the most athletic teams I’ve seen in several years,” Bullard eighth-year coach Onesta Francis said. “They were long, rangy at every position and their goalkeeper was exceptional. We knew coming in what they had but it’s hard to defend when they’re are taller and jump higher.”
Bullard’s girls, after going 10-0 in the County/Metro Athletic Conference, had swept four Tri-River Athletic Conference schools as a No. 7 seed to win the section D-I championship before opening the regional at home Tuesday with a 2-0 win over No. 5 Hart-Newhall.
200 final state-record career goals total for Mendota’s Daniel Trejo, who in the section quarterfinals broke the mark set by Diamond Bar’s Craig Turley from 1984-87
The Knights were on the threshold of reaching a regional final for the first time since placing second in the state with a Lynn Williams-powered team in 2011.
Knights goalie Samantha Goodrich had delivered three consecutive shutouts but was met by a wave of Huntington Beach goals from freshmen Summer Stewart and Makenna McGill, sophomores Alyssa Hornback and Alex Lotter, and juniors Remi Davison and Brianna Barnes.
Goodrich, still flashing a modest smile with two rows of braces and likely headed to Cal Poly or Santa Clara for academics only, accepted the loss with dignity: “We had a great season, definitely, and this is kind of a sour way to finish it, but we brought a league championship to Bullard and we brought a Valley championship to Bullard. I mean, this is a tough loss, but that’s OK.”
Mendota, Fowler fall, too
Mendota’s boys and Fowler’s girls also saw their postseason runs end Thursday in D-V regional semifinals.
Top-seeded Mendota lost 2-0 at home to No. 5 Santa Clara-Oxnard and No. 3 Fowler lost 4-0 at No. 2 Grace Brethren-Simi Valley.
Mendota’s Daniel Trejo closed his four-year career as the state’s leading scorer with 200 goals and checked out as the Central Section’s all-time single-season leader with 65, according to section historian Bob Barnett.