Los Alamitos girls soccer tops Oaks Christian in thrilling CIF-SS Division 1 semifinal

LOS ALAMITOS — Sofia Bugarin scored with 30 seconds remaining in regulation for Los Alamitos’ girls soccer team to make the score 2-2 and send the CIF-SS Division 1 semifinal against Oaks Christian into overtime Friday night.

Neither team scored through two 10-minute overtime periods before the Griffins went on to win, 3-1, on penalty kicks.

The Griffins (18-6-5) will take on Santa Margarita for the Division 1 championship on Feb. 25.

The Eagles defeated Villa Park 1-0 in the other Division 1 semifinal Friday.

“It means so much to the team,” Bugarin said of the victory. “Not just to me but for the whole team. We’re going to win (the title). It’s destiny at this point.”

Los Alamitos’ Sofia Bugarin scored the tying goal with 30 seconds left in regulation to send the Griffins’ game against Oaks Christian to overtime. (Photo by Lou Ponsi, Contributor)

Los Alamitos and Oaks Christian (19-3-1) traded goals in the first half before a goal from Sarah Spears gave the Lions a 2-1 lead late in the half.

Late in the second half, Los Alamitos went with an offensive lineup and the strategy work.

The Griffins had numerous scoring chances before the strategy finally paid off when Bugarin took a shot from inside the box.

That Lions’ goalkeeper stopped the first shot, but the ball deflected off of a defender and bounced back to Burgarin. The sophomore shot again, and this time she scored.

“We were playing risky,” Los Alamitos coach Pat Rossi said. “We had only three defenders back. We were trying to push, push push. We were playing big to find a second ball. That’s normally not our style, but it’s what we had in front of us so we had to take it.”

Griffins goalkeeper Avarie Gonzalez, who injured her ribs and her arm during the game, came up big during the penalty kick sequence, making saves on the Lions’ first and third penalty kicks.

The Lions’ fourth kick sailed over the goal, clinching the contest for the Griffins.

Los Alamitos got consecutive goals on penalty kicks from Kaylee Noble, Sanaa Guyness and Viviana Zacarias.

Los Alamitos goalkeeper Avarie Gonzalez made two big saves on penalty kicks in the Griffins’ victory over Oaks Christian in the CIF-SS semifinals Friday, Feb. 17. (Photo by Lou Ponsi, Contributor)

“Just reaction and trusting myself and my ability,” Gonzalez said of her saves. “Just keep your mind strong and your body will carry you there. I looked at the referee to make sure that we won and then I saw my teammates running towards me. It’s a really special feeling going to the CIF finals as a freshman.”

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The victory was identical to Los Alamitos’ victory over Mira Costa in the quarterfinal round on Tuesday, Feb. 14, when Zacarias scored with eight seconds remaining to send the contest to overtime.

When neither team could score over the next 20 minutes, the Griffins went on to win on penalty kicks.

Gonzalez made three saves in the penalty kick phase of that game.

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