By Gideon Rubin
Cathedral Catholic started out with a whimper but finished one of the most important games in its distinguished program’s history with a bang.
The Dons rallied from a halftime deficit to defeat to defeat Chaminade of West Hills (San Fernando Valley) 3-1 in a Southern California Division II Regional Championship game on March 8.
The Dons opened the tournament with a 5-0 victory over Marshall of Pasadena on March 4 and then defeated Bishop Amat of La Puente 2-0 in a semifinal two days later.
Tamara Gomez, Brittany Doan and Kelly Bieraugel each scored one goal to lead the Dons in the Chaminade game.
Dana Dalton, Mikaela Kraus and Lindy Porritt each contributed one assist.
Jeissca Bakan scored one goal and had one assist to lead the Dons in the Marshall game.
Goalie Hanna Macaulay was credited with the shutout.
Alex Ocon and Doan each scored one goal for the Dons against Bishop Amat.
Macaulay, who was credited with the shutout, had three saves.
The Dons conclude their season with a 26-3-4 overall record.
After experiencing its most lopsided loss of the season in the San Diego Section Division III finals, Cathedral Catholic has bounced back in the Southern California Division III regional playoffs.
And as a result of 68-65 first-round victory over Santa Margarita on March 6 and a 57-45 win against Tustin in the quarterfinals two days later, the Dons were two wins away from an appearance in the state title game.
The Dons were scheduled to play St. Augustine in a Division III semifinal on Tuesday night in a rematch of the San Diego Section title game (a 62-36 St. Augustine victory on March 2).
Niksha Federico scored 27 points to lead the Dons in the Tustin game and Xavier Williams added 13 points.
Williams scored 20 points to lead the Dons in the Santa Margarita game.
Federico and Brandon Michel added 14 and 12 points, respectively.
The Dons improved their overall record for the season to 29-4.
Cathedral Catholic lost to Reseda (San Fernando Valley) 66-62 in a Division III Southern California regional quarterfinal on March 9.
The loss followed a 58-40 first-round win against Gahr of Cerritos on March 6.
The Dons concluded their season with a 19-11 overall record.
Cathedral Catholic, ranked No. 1 in the nation in USA Today’s preseason poll and at or near the top of virtually every reputable national preseason poll, is off to a 2-0 start.
The Dons opened the season with a 7-3 victory over La Costa Canyon and then beat Bonita Vista 7-0 two days later in a Hilltop-Lolita tournament games.
Stephen Gonsalves pitched five shutout innings of one-hit ball to lead the Dons in the LCC game.
Gonsalves struck out four batters and allowed one walk.
Gabe Simpson had two hits and two RBI and Andrew Wright, Gonsalves and David Wilson each contributed two hits and one RBI.
Brady Aiken struck out eight batters and allowed one walk in five shutout innings of two-hit ball to lead the Dons in the Bonita Vista game.