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VAN NUYS — Second time’s the charm for El Camino Real girls soccer coach Eric Choi.
The Royals defeated Cleveland 4-0 in the City Section Division I final at LA Valley College Saturday afternoon.
In a rematch of last year’s championship game, in which Cleveland won 4-2, Choi and the Royals got their revenge in dominating fashion.
“They were the defending champs, and we knew we had to go take it from them,” Choi said.
Despite the onslaught of rain, the field conditions weren’t horrendous. The Cavaliers came out, playing physical soccer on the cold and wet pitch. They were making hard drives toward the ball and knocking over anyone who was in their way.
Senior Erin Lee got El Camino Real on the board first with a header four minutes into the match.
“It felt really good to help the team win a City Section title,” Lee said.
Sophomore Sharon Alcocer added to her goal total on the season, making it 18 on the year for her, however, she did leave with about 5:30 left in the first half due to injury. She didn’t start the second half, but was subbed on to finish the match.
The Royals played with intensity early and it showed. ECR had seven shot attempts, with two of them finding the back of the net.
Cleveland couldn’t get the ball into its third of the pitch offensively. ECR was in complete control and wouldn’t allow the Cavaliers to try and mount anything on offense.
The second half was much of the same for Cleveland as they struggled offensively. However, they did have a few chances with about 22 minutes left in the second half, creating two corners within a minute, not resulting in anything.
Senior Taylor Webster joined in on the scoring party 10 minutes into the second half and Junior Nikki Velazco sealed the deal for the Royals with a late second-half goal. Velazco in particular opened up a lot of second-half opportunities for the Royals with her play on the wing.
“Until you beat the champs, you’re not the champ,” Coach Choi reiterated to his team.
El Camino Real celebrated its 15th City title in program history.