In its City Section quarterfinal soccer match against Granada Hills Tuesday, San Pedro looked like a swarm of pesky insects attacking an exterminator.
San Pedro beat the Highlanders, 4-2, at San Pedro, earning a trip to the City soccer final four for the first time since 1976. The Pirates (12-1-3) will play at Bell, 1-0 winners over Grant, on Thursday.
"I think our team gave it everything they had," Granada Hills Coach Midge Miller said. "But I don't think they were in as good of shape as San Pedro."
And it showed. The Pirates, led by sophomore center/forward Rual Haro, ran circles around the Highlanders, passing at will and executing a superb offense that left Granada Hills (11-5) slipping and sliding on a muddy Daniels Field. With the help of teammates Tony Lobro, Jim Biljelic and Arturo Hernandez, Haro was able to control the tempo of the match by consistently keeping the ball in front of the Highlanders' goal.
"San Pedro is very fast," said Miller, who, in her second year as coach, led Granada Hills to a West Valley League title, and to the quarterfinals for the first time in the school's history. "There were a lot of plays where my defense was left lying on the ground."
It wasn't as if Granada Hills didn't have its chances. The Highlanders opened the scoring early on a goal by Mark Hurlimann. Hurlimann dribbled alone against Pirate keeper David Bryan and scored from 15 yards.
Five minutes later, Pirate John Biljelic scored on an assist by Lobro. Haro's 26th goal of the season gave the Pirates a 2-1 halftime lead. Lobro and Jim Biljelic each scored goals for San Pedro in the second half.
With less than a minute left, Granada Hills' Hurlimann concluded the scoring with his second goal of the game.