San Clemente and Woodland Hills El Camino Real will make their third and fourth consecutive championship game appearances, respectively, today, but neither girls' soccer team has been blase during its repeat run.
Top-seeded San Clemente (17-2-7), ranked No. 1 in the Southland by The Times since the beginning of January, swarmed a rain-soaked Santa Margarita field Tuesday in celebration of a 2-0 victory over the Serra League champions that set up an all-South Coast League final with Mission Viejo Capistrano Valley (14-5-6) at 3 p.m. at Cal State Fullerton.
"We were in tears" for the seniors, Triton Coach Stacey Finnerty said.
San Clemente tied Mission Viejo, 1-1, in last season's section final. The Tritons defeated Mission Viejo Capistrano Valley, 2-1, in the 2002 final and tied the Cougars, 1-1, in both league games this season.
On Wednesday, top-seeded El Camino Real learned its similar fate in the City Section. Minutes after defeating fourth-seeded San Pedro, 1-0, at home in a game that first-year Coach Shanna Sarris called "the toughest of the season," her team was told it would face West Valley League-rival Chatsworth (12-7-1) in the championship game at 4:30 p.m. today at East Los Angeles College. Three-time defending champion El Camino Real (22-4-1) defeated Chatsworth -- a five-time champion from 1996 to 2000 -- both times during the regular season.
Today is a chance for some team to start a dynasty. Arroyo Grande (23-4) in Division III, Rancho Santa Margarita Tesoro (20-5-3) in Division II and L.A. Notre Dame Academy (15-6-1) in Division V each enter its first Southern Section title game.
Arroyo Grande will play defending co-champion and top-seeded Walnut (27-1-1).
Notre Dame Academy (15-6-1) had never made it as far as the semifinals until last week. The Regals take on defending co-champion Oaks Christian (19-2-5).
Tesoro, a third-year school in its second season of girls' varsity play, has made perhaps the most remarkable run to the championship game. A season after losing in the second round, Tesoro won the Pacific Coast League and upset top-seeded Arcadia, 2-1, Tuesday on the road. Tesoro plays second-seeded Ventura Buena (24-3-2).
-- Elia Powers
Los Angeles Jordan (13-1-4) will be without its best player when it meets top-seeded Canoga Park (18-1-2) in the City Section championship game at East Los Angeles College at 7 tonight, when both schools attempt to win their first section title.
That's because midfielder Abran Madrigal was issued two yellow cards -- which equals a red card -- in 10th-seeded Jordan's shootout victory at third-seeded Bell in a semifinal game Monday.
Madrigal scored Jordan's second goal in the game that was tied, 2-2, after two overtimes.
"It's going to hurt us quite a bit," first-year Jordan Coach Jonathan Malagon said. "But I'm going to have to go with the guys I have."
Canoga Park goalkeeper Efren Garcia is expected to be back in the lineup, Coach Jake Gwin said. Garcia left the semifinal game during the second half of Canoga Park's 4-1 victory over visiting San Pedro on Monday after he cut his chin and inadvertently bit his tongue when he collided with an opposing player. The cuts required 12 stitches to close.
-- John Ortega