The Los Al Girls soccer squad fell to Temecula Valley 2-1 in the championship game of the Best in the West Tournament, hosted by Newport Harbor High School. The two teams put on a “back-and-forth duel at University High, complete with the excellent scoring chances and diving saves fit for CIF contenders,” per the OC Register’s Dan Albano.
The Griffins Washington State-bound goalie Aurora Schuck had six saves for Los Al, but the game-winner was scored off a loose ball scramble in front of the net in the 63rd minute.
Senior Marissa Salazar scored the Griffins’ only goal, with fellow senior Mimi Abusham getting the assist.
Earlier in the day, the Griffins downed San Juan Hills in the semi-finals 2-1, behind goals by seniors Espi Logan and freshman Vivan Zacarias. Junior Katie Puburn recorded two assists.
The tournament, as befitting its name, featured some of the area’s top teams, including No. 1 Havard-Westlake, No. 2 Santiago of Corona, and No. 3 San Juan Hills. Los Al entered the day ranked No. 7 in the CIF, and Temecula Valley was No. 5.
The Griffins, who improved their record to 2-2-2, have a light week coming up, hosting Trabuco Hills on Tuesday. They open play in the always tough Excalibur Cup on Dec. 27.
Frosh-Soph Girls Soccer
The Los Al Frosh-Soph team also turned in a solid performance at the Best in the West Tournament, coming home as champions of the Silver Bracket. Los Al posted a 3-1 record, defeating Mater Dei 1-0 but falling to San Juan Hills by the same score last week. This week they downed University 4-0, in the semi-finals and then edged Millikan 1-0 in the afternoon match at Aliso Niguel HS statdium.
The Los Al Boys soccer team notched its first victory of the season, downing Mira Costa 3-1, before a home crowd at Los Al High Friday evening. The win avenged (in part) a loss to Costa in the second round of the CIF-SS playoffs last season.
The Griffins, who are now 1-2-1 on the season, next play in the first round of the South Torrance Holiday Classic against Lakewood on Tuesday, Dec. 21.
The Los Al Lady Griffins improved their non-league record to 8-2, splitting a pair of games over the weekend. Los Al downed Trabuco Hills 43-32 Friday night, but then fell to Valencia of Placentia 53-52 in a thriller on Saturday. Sophomores Kayli Liew and Ernie Chen each scored 13 in the loss.
Los Al hosts El Toro in a non-league match on Wednesday.
GIRLS WATER POLO
The Los Al Girls water polo squad won its first two matches at the inaugural Claremont High School Holiday Classic. The Griffins handily defeated their first-round opponent Los Altos on Friday evening, then thumped El Segundo 20-4 on Saturday morning.
Mike Sanford signs on as University of Colorado Offensive Coordinator
Former Griffin quarterback Mike Sanford has been hired as the offensive coordinator for the University of Colorado Buffalos.
Sanford graduated from Los Al in 2000 and was best known as the QB in the CIF playoff game where he worked the Griffins down the field in the final minute, and allowed Chris Kluwe to kick his record setting 60 yard field goal to send the game into overtime, which they then won on a Sanford 24 yard TD pass. Sanford, 39, played at Boise State, and has had numerous coaching jobs at different levels. He comes to Colorado from the University of Minnesota, where he was the Gophers’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the last two seasons. His resume includes experience as a recruiting coordinator and two years as a head coach (at Western Kentucky).
Landry Fields reported “in line as next Atlanta Hawks GM”
Former Los Al Griffin standout Landry Fields, who led Los Al to a CIF basketball championship in 2006, is said to be in line to become the next General Manager for the Atlanta Hawks.