Griffins roll Hart to advance to quarters

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Tabitha LaParl leaps over a defender’s attempt to take control of the ball. Photo by Ted Apodaca

On Tuesday, Los Alamitos High girls soccer team defeated Newport Harbor, 2-0, at Newport Harbor to advance to the semifinals. Los Alamitos will travel to Harvard Westlake on Saturday to play for a spot in the championship game on Feb. 23.

The Griffins team advanced to the quarterfinals of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs, with a 6-0 win over Hart High, on Friday, Feb. 8, at Los Alamitos High.

The Griffins also blanked Long Beach Wilson in the first round, so they have yet to surrender a playoff goal. The Griffins are the No. 2 seed in the division and were scheduled to play Tuesday (past our press time) at Newport Harbor in the quarterfinals.

The Griffins were in control most of the game. Hart was able to control the ball for stints to start both halves, the Griffins eventually settled in and kept Hart on the defensive. Sophomore forward Colby Barnett led the way with three goal.

The Griffins scored what would be the game-winner in the 18th minute, as freshman midfielder Teryn Newkirk got a pass at the top of the goal box. She was able to make a move around a defender and fire a left-footed shot that the goal keeper was able to deflect, but not keep out of the goal. The Griffins would roll from there.

Sophomore Tabitha LaParl had two goals and an assist, while Newkirk was also credited with an assist.

Los Alamitos played a possession game, keeping and moving the ball around to set up attack opportunities. It’s a technique that has them unbeaten so far this year.

“It’s definitely very important for us, that’s kind of how we play, we just like to possess (the ball) and it really helps us,” LaParl said.

As the Griffins began to extend their lead, and pressure Hart, they also found open space for quick strikes. Barnett was able to complete a couple of scoring opportunities with speed thoughout the defense. She said the patience and passing has continued to improve through the season and playoffs.

“I think technically, we’re getting more sound, and comfortable around the ball and also with our passing,” Barnett said.

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