GRIFFIN SPORTS: Boys Soccer, Girls Water Polo falls in CIF playoffs; Girls Soccer meets Santa Margarita Saturday Night for Div I title

The Los Alamitos boys soccer team received the CIF-SS runner-up award after losing to Quartz Hill in the Division 3 final Thursday. (Photo by Dan Albano, Orange County Register/SCNG)

The Los Al Boys Soccer team and fans traveled to Quartz Hill in Lancaster with hopes of bringing back their first CIF championship since 2002, but had to settle for the second place plaque after falling 3-2.

The Division 5 championship match was played on a very windy but dry turf field at Antelope Valley College, about a mile from the victors’ school.  The game-time temperatures might have been the coldest any Los Al team has endured since the 1969 football team played a CIF final in Barstow, bBut fortunately, intermittent rain in the area kept the temps in the 40s instead of the predicted mid-30s. 

The Griffins, who finished their season with a  17-7-3 mark, fell behind early on corner kicks in the 17th and 39th minute when defenders lost track of their men and Quartz Hill, last year’s Division 5 runnerup, made them pay.

The Royals ( 17-1-4) added a third goal early in the second half, but the Griffins as they have all playoffs mounted a comeback.  Sophomore forward Jack Nishimoto drew a penalty kick in the 66th minute which senior Demitrious Tanks put away. Sophomore keeper Anthony Gomez kept the Griffins in the match with nine saves, including two in the 84th minute and a minute later, on a counter, Nishimoto flicked in a goal in the 86th minute.  Sophomore Keeper

The Griffins had the ball deep in Quartz Hill territory and were threatening when the final whistle blew.  

More details are available in the story by the OC Register’s Dan Albano.

The Griffins now must wait to see if they qualify for next week’s State CIF So Cal Regional Championships.   

Los Al Girls Water polo downed by Foothill in SoCal Regional Semis

It was another CIF playoff semi-final loss for the Los Al Girls water polo squad.  This time they fell to Foothill 12-10 in the semifinals of the State So Cal regionals.  The Knights move on to meet Orange Lutheran in Saturday’s championship in a rematch of the Southern Section Open Division championship match.

The Griffins, who defeated Santa Margarita 12-9 in Tuesday’s quarter-final, end their 2022-23 season with a 24-12 record.

Girls Soccer plays Santa Margarita at Vets for Div I title

The Los Al Girls soccer squad gets its chance at a CIF title tomorrow night when they tangle with the No. 2 seeded Santa Margarita Eagles.  The Eagles, Trinity League champions, have lost only once on the pitch — and once via a forfeit – thanks to a strong defense (14 shutouts) and the offense of USC-bound Faith George who has scored 26 goals. 

Los Alamitos, ranked No. 5 in the final Division 1 poll, reached the championship game by defeating Mira Costa and Oaks Christian in penalty kicks in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively. They come into the Santa Margarita game quite familiar with the Eagles – thanks to many club connections.  Griffin Freshman goalie Avarie Gonzalez, who has made key saves in both shootout wins, is a Slammers teammate of Santa Margarita keeper Peyton Trayer. Both Eagles Coach Craig Bull and Los Al coach Pat Rossi also are part of the Slammers club. The young Griffin squad still has strong senior leadership offense is led by Cal State Fullerton commit Kaylee Noble (16 goals, eight assists), and UC Riverside commit Sanaa Guyness (11 goals). Freshman Zamorah (Zee) Malinoski (10 goals, six assists) and striker Vivi Zaccarias has been making an impact in recent games.

Baseball notches two wins in Loara Tournament

The Los Al Griffins baseball team improved their record to 4-1 by notching two Loara tournament wins this past week, thanks to some very strong pitching performances. 

Cole Tryba pitched six shutout innings in Los Al’s 2-0 win over La Mirada on Wednesday.

On Tuesday the host Griffins downed Sonora 7-1. Wyatt Madison earned the win with a nine strike–out performance.  Matt Kaiser and Matt Wurmlinger came out of the bullpen in relief. Jason Reid, Davis D’Errico, Cody Hearn and Madison powered four runs in the third inning to provide the necessary offense. 

Due to weather concerns, the Griffins-La Mirada road contest was moved from Thursday to Wednesday, but Los Al still came away with a 2-0 win. The close game featured strong pitching on both sides. The Griffin effort was paced by Cole Tryba who pitched six shutout innings, striking out ten while giving up only three hits and walking one. Derek Valdez came in and recorded the last three outs to earn the save for the Griffins.

The Griffin runs came after hits by Jake Evans, _Cole Belfanti, Ryan Reyes, and Reid.

Boys volleyball to play in Redondo Tournament

The Los Al Boys Volleyball team hopes to get their first wins of the season when they start pool play at the Redondo beach Volleyball Tournament this Friday. They enter the tournament as the No. 1 seed, and their first game will be at 3:30 against Palos Verdes. They play Downey at 5:30 and Granada Hills at 7:30. Bracket plays begins tomorrow.

The Griffins dropped their season opener on Tuesday, falling to Servite 3-1 (25-18, 25-19, 25-27, 25-20).  The Friars won the first two handily, but Los Al squeeked out the third set and was ahead late in the fourth before Servite rallied to win the match.

The Freshman Red team came away with a win, defeating Servite 2-1 (22-25, 25-18, 15-12).


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