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Harvard-Westlake Passes Semifinal, 2-1

February 28, 2001|MIKE BRESNAHAN | From Staff Reports

A semifinal slump had stumped Harvard-Westlake High, knocking the Wolverines from the playoffs three years in a row.

Then came Tuesday.

The rain was ever-present and the sun wasn't close to shining, but the Wolverines were radiant after Tracy Lansing scored three minutes into double overtime for a 2-1 victory over Corona del Mar in a Southern Section Division IV semifinal at Harvard-Westlake.

Lansing scored her second goal of the game by deflecting in a corner kick by Kim LaVere, sending the Wolverines to the championship game for the first time since 1992.

"This year was our turn," Lansing said. "We had so many opportunities. We could feel it coming."

Lansing converted an important opportunity in the 19th minute, tying the score, 1-1, by knocking in Jill Oakes' shot to the middle.

Top-seeded Corona del Mar (26-2-3) seemed to lose momentum. No. 4-seeded Harvard-Westlake (18-3-4) dominated play the rest of the way.

"It's been a thriller," Coach Ned Smith said. "In a year where we weren't really favored to do well, nobody expected us to be a championship contender."

Coach Ron Evans of Corona del Mar sighed when he arrived at Harvard-Westlake and saw the muddy field.

He had a feeling it would be trouble for his possession-dependent team.

"We've been undefeated in 26 straight on a dry field," Evans said. "We came in here in the slush and couldn't get the possessions we normally do."

Harvard-Westlake plays Louisville, a surprise winner over Chaminade, Saturday at a site to be determined.

The Wolverines defeated Louisville, 4-1 and 2-1, in Mission League play.

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