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CITY SECTION SOCCER FINALS

Locke Secures Its First Boys' Crown

March 09, 2003|Steve Galluzzo

Jaime Vargas scored in the ninth minute of overtime and Los Angeles Locke held on to win its first City Section boys' soccer championship by defeating Van Nuys Grant, 2-1, Saturday afternoon at UCLA's Drake Stadium.

Grant goalkeeper Mark Iraheta made a diving save on a shot by Pedro Rodriguez, but Vargas beat Iraheta to the rebound and tucked the loose ball just inside the goal post for his team-leading 17th goal of the season.

Rodriguez tied the score on a turnaround volley in the penalty area with nine minutes left in regulation.

"Time was running out and we were getting desperate, so we started pressing everyone forward," said Vargas, who missed on two point-blank shots in the first half. "It was frustrating not to score because we were getting all kinds of opportunities."

Second-seeded Grant (21-2-5) took a 1-0 lead just before halftime when Johny Amaya netted his 30th goal on a header off of a pass from Moises Gomez.

Even without senior forward Alex Nieto, who sat out after receiving two yellow cards in the Saints' 4-1 semifinal victory over Los Angeles, eighth-seeded Locke (14-4-3) outshot Grant, 23-12, in regulation and 31-16 in the game. Iraheta made 15 saves while his counterpart, Abel Lua, made six.

Woodland Hills El Camino Real 1, Granada Hills 0 -- Freshman Katie Oakes kicked a pass from Samantha Spencer past goalkeeper Ashlee Allen with 3:24 left in sudden-death overtime as the Conquistadores won their third consecutive City Section girls' championship.

Top-seeded El Camino Real (23-1-3) won its 18th consecutive game and fifth in the last six games against its West Valley League rivals.

Oakes' goal was her 24th of the season and came after 80 minutes of regulation play, 20 minutes of overtime and six minutes of sudden death. Allen made eight saves for the second-seeded Highlanders (20-6-1), who lost to El Camino Real by scores of 2-0 and 1-0 in league play.

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