Foothill-Palos Verdes Tops This Week's Games to Watch

There are two weeks left and a long list of games that will have an effect on league titles and playoff berths. Here’s a quick look at some of the most intriguing matchups this week:

In a rematch of last year’s Southern Section title game, Orange County No. 1 Foothill (15-1) visits Palos Verdes (9-4), which is coming off a 5-4, overtime loss to Peninsula on Friday. That loss was the Sea Kings’ first to an L.A. team since an overtime loss at Oak Park last year (April 21, 2014). This year, two of PV’s four losses have come against San Diego teams; the other was to OC No. 3 St. Margaret’s.

Against Foothill, the Sea Kings again will have to contend with Nate Marano (pictured above), the Denver signee who scored six goals against them last May to lead the Knights to a 15-10 win in the section title game.

Also Monday, Marmonte League leader Westlake (10-0) visits nearby Oak Park (8-5) in a nonleague contest. The programs did not face each other last year, but Westlake beat Oak Park in 2013 and swept both meetings in 2012, when both were part of the 101 League.

Another nonleague game that could have some bearing on May 3 — when coaches meet to decide playoff berths and seedings — takes place at Redondo Union, where the Sea Hawks (6-6) take on Newbury Park (7-3). Both teams could use a victory over a strong opponent to bolster their playoff arguments. Last year, Redondo visited Newbury, and the Panthers won 7-3. This year, though, Redondo is coming off a decisive home win over Mira Costa.

The newly formed Gold Coast League boasts its first big showdown game when Sierra Canyon (9-3, 1-1 league) visits Brentwood (6-4, 2-0). The Trailblazers started the season with nine wins in 10 games before suffering two one-goal losses last week. One of those was a league loss to Malibu, which suddenly put Brentwood in prime position to claim the top spot in the league. The Eagles have won five in a row after a 1-4 start, and a win Tuesday would give them a big advantage in the league race.

Last week, Peninsula (12-1) posted back-to-back overtime wins to take sole possession of first place in the Bay League. Wednesday, the Panthers visit Redondo Union to complete the first leg of their two-lap trip around the league.

Also Wednesday, Oak Park plays host to its second Top 10 team of the week when Harvard Westlake (7-5) visits. The Wolverines play at St. Francis in a Mission League game Tuesday, then head out the 101 Wednesday.

A few weeks ago, Newbury Park shut out Agoura 7-0. Friday, the Panthers visit Agoura for the rematch. Moreover, while there’s a good chance both of these teams will receive playoff berths (last year, the Marmonte received four invites), if the league gets only three, one of these teams is likely to be the odd one out. A victory in this game will help make the case, one way or the other.

Nine days after suffering an agonizing overtime loss to Peninsula at home, Mira Costa (8-3, 0-2) heads down the coast for the Bay League rematch. The Mustangs will be coming off a visit to Palos Verdes on Wednesday and could still be looking for their first league victory.

While the Mission League title appears to belong to Loyola this year, the battle for second place likely will be decided when Harvard Westlake visits Crespi. The rivals have faced each other six times (so far) in the last three seasons, with Crespi winning four of them. The Celts held off a furious Wolverines rally March 24 to win 11-10.

Here’s the full schedule for the week of April 13-18 (via

Monday, April 20
Foothill at Palos Verdes
Westlake at Oak Park
Newbury Park at Redondo Union
Downey at Santa Monica
Beverly Hills at Hart
Palisades Charter at Valley Academy
Birmingham at Manual Arts
Hawkins at Westchester

Tuesday, April 21
Chaminade at Crespi
Harvard Westlake at St. Francis
Sierra Canyon at Brentwood
Malibu at Viewpoint
Palisades Charter at Thacher
Birmingham at Hamilton
Santa Barbara at Dos Pueblos

Wednesday, April 22
Mira Costa at Palos Verdes
Peninsula at Redondo Union
Westlake at Newbury Park
Agoura at Thousand Oaks
Oaks Christian at Calabasas
Harvard Westlake at Oak Park
El Segundo at Santa Monica
Downey at Culver City
Simi Royal at Cate School
Hart at Valencia
Simi Valley at San Marcos
Hawkins at Huntington Park
Jordan at Westchester
Laguna Blanca at Ojai Valley

Thursday, April 23
Malibu at Brentwood
Dos Pueblos at Dunn School
Viewpoint at Sierra Canyon

Friday, April 24
Newbury Park at Agoura
Calabasas at Westlake
Thousand Oaks at Oaks Christian
Chaminade at Loyola
Mira Costa at Peninsula
Culver City at Beverly Hills
Simi Royal at Simi Valley
Santa Barbara at Cate
West Ranch at Valencia
Palisades Charter at Birmingham
Manual Arts at Jordan

Saturday, April 25
Hamilton at Palisades Charter
Harvard Westlake at Crespi
Ojai Valley at Laguna Blanca


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