Tanks OT goal puts Boys Soccer in CIF semis; Water Polo falls

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Demetrious Tanks (right) scored the winning goal in overtime to send the Los Al Boys Soccer team to the CIF semi-finals. (Photo from OC Register, Jan. 2022)

The Los Al Boys Soccer team completed the back half of a soccer two-fer, by defeating Canyon High in overtime on Wednesday night to advance to the CIF semi-finals. The girls squad had accomplished that task the night before.

As the Los Al soccer girls did on Tuesday night, the boys ended regulation in a tie (albeit this time 0-0), and had to go into overtime. Seven minutes into the first overtime, Cael McElderry sent a corner kick into the box where it found senior Demitrious Tanks who tapped it into the net for a golden goal which sent the Griffins into Saturday’s semi-final against fellow Sunset League squad Newport Harbor.

The first half didn’t provide much hope the Griffins would make it through regulation. Canyon dominated the action with a three-back formation that consistently caused problems for the Los Al defense. But keeper Anthony Gomez kept Los Al in the game with many of his ten saves, and got them to halftime where Coach Donovan Martinez made some adjustments. “We pushed our midfielders a little higher and that got them concerned and evened out the second half.”

Los Al almost scored near the end of regulation but came up short, sending the game into OT for Tanks’ theatrics.

Manny Alvarez of the OC Register has a more complete story here.

The win increased Los Al’s season mark to 16-6-3. They now play on Saturday night at Los Al against Newport Harbor. Game time is listed at 530pm. The Griffin Girls host Oak Christian on Friday night at 530pm.

The Sailors defeated Long Beach Cabrillo in penalty kicks – outlasting them 7-6. Newport won the Sunset Conference’s Wave league with a 5-0-2 (16-4-4 overall) record. The Griffins (16-6-3) won the Surf League. The two teams played in a crossover match on January 25 that ended in a 1-1 tie.


Girls Water Polo falls to Orange Lutheran

The Girls Water Polo team’s CIF dreams came up short as they fell to No. 2 seed Orange Lutheran 6-4 at Foothill Wednesday night.

Orange Lutheran (24-2) had already beaten the Griffins four times in the season, averaging almost 11 goals per game in each win. But the Griffin defense slowed down the Lancer attack. Still Orange Lutheran jumped out to a 3-1 first quarter lead, but the Grifins held the Lancers scoreless in the second and cut the halftime lead to 3-2.

The Lancers came out strong in the third quarter, stretching their lead to 6-3. The Griffins again shutout OLu in the final quarter, but could only manage one goal to cut the final margin to 6-4.

Dan Albano of the OC Register has the complete story.

Los Al sophomore Cici DeLuca had two goals to lead the Griffins. Six different players scored for Orange Lutheran. Los Al’s sophomore goalie Joey Niz had eight saves. Lancer Goalie Lauren Steele made nine saves, two against counterattacks in the fourth period like the one below.

The Griffins finished the season 23-11. Orange Lutheran will now play Foothill for the CIF championship. Foothill downed Laguna Beach in the first match of the night.

The game was another bittersweet reunion for two former US Olympian teammates. Orange Lutheran is coached by Brenda Villa, a longtime teammate of former Griffin standout Jackie Frank DeLuca, mother of CiCi. Frank, an All-American at Stanford, played on the US National team from 1998-2004 and was the keeper on the 2004 Olympic squad which won a bronze medal. Villa, one of the most decorated women water polo players, played in four Olympics for the US, from 2000 to 2012.

Today’s Schedule

BASEBALL: Los Al @ Lakewood 3pm (Loara Tournament)

SOFTBALL: La Mirada @ Los Al 3:15pm

BOYS TENNIS: Los Al @ University (Irvine)

GIRLS LACROSSE: El Dorado @ Los Al 7pm

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