Oak Park is heading to the L.A. championship game for the third consecutive year after defeating visiting Chaminade 16-6 on Saturday night. This year, though, the Eagles are hoping to go one step further.
Last year, the Eagles lost to neighborhood rival Agoura in the title game, 20-19 in overtime. Oak Park then represented L.A. in the section title game when Agoura declined to participate due to scheduling conflicts and lost to Los Alamitos 20-6. This year, the Eagles would like nothing more than to earn their own way to the section title game as L.A. champs.
They took a big step Saturday against Chaminade, jumping out to a 12-1 lead at halftime and building the margin to 15-1 midway through the second half. A five-goal run by Chaminade made things interesting, cutting the OP lead to 15-6 with six minutes left, but the comeback ended there, and Oak Park could start looking ahead to Wednesday.
The Eagles (17-4), seeded No. 1 in the North half of the L.A. bracket, will take on South No. 1 Redondo Union (17-1) on Wednesday evening at Culver City HS (5 p.m.) for the right to face the Orange County champion.
Ania Brown led the Eagles with four goals against Chaminade, and Ellie Strauch, Morgan Shorts and Julia Gilliam had three goals each. Lauren Duerfeldt had four assists, according to @vcspreps.
For Chaminade (18-4), the loss capped the best season in the program’s history. The Eagles lost only to Oak Park (twice), Redondo Union and Capistrano Valley from Orange County. Moreover, they reached the L.A. semifinals for the first time.
Eagles fall to OP (16-6) Chaminade GLAX best season ever! Pacific Lax League Champs! Section Final Four! Incredible! pic.twitter.com/DIUPgVfqTG
— Chaminade Athletics (@Chaminadesports) May 10, 2015
Redondo, which beat Mira Costa 11-5 on Saturday to win the South bracket and advance to the L.A title game, will be looking for redemption against Oak Park — the only team to beat the Sea Hawks this season (15-6 at Oak Park on April 1). Allie Tsuji scored four goals to lead Redondo, and Maddie Farmer scored three.
Redondo didn’t allow Costa to score until midway through the second half. In fact, defense has been a hallmark of this Sea Hawks team. They average only five goals-allowed per game, and only one team has scored in double figures against them this season — Oak Park.