In an impressive display on both sides of the ball, fourth-seeded Cathedral Catholic shut out fifth seed Canyon Crest Academy, 3-0, in the first round (quarterfinals) of the CIF Open Division Field Hockey Championships Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 14, on its home field. Cathedral Catholic improved its overall record to 20-6-2 while Canyon Crest finished its season at 15-9.
Cathedral Catholic Head Coach Vianney Yamada felt her team played one of its best games of the year. “It’s the CIF Playoffs and I think we came out with an extra spark today,” said Yamada. “The thing I liked best is that we kept our composure and stuck to the game plan. We haven’t always done that.”
The Dons, who controlled the run of play throughout and had several early chances finally struck paydirt with 14:55 left in the first half. Senior Lindsey Biskup put herself in the right place to clean up when the ball came free from a scrum in front of the net, poking it in from short range. Yamada felt Biskup’s score was a good omen.
“We have a lot of players who have split the goal-scoring for us this year but Lindsey’s the type of player who seems to take her game up a notch when she scores,” said Yamada. “She plays on the left side where it’s a little more difficult to generate offense, so for her to get going early was a plus for us.”
Biskup proved the accuracy of Yamada’s thinking just over seven minutes later, converting a penalty corner for her second tally, putting Cathedral up, 2-0, a lead the Dons took into halftime.
Canyon Crest came out of the break with some initial fire but any thoughts of a comeback were quelled just inside five minutes as junior Devon Gaasch scored her first goal of the year on a deflection, for all practical purposes putting the contest out of reach for Coach Kiana Duncan’s Ravens. “Devin has played defense for most of the year and hasn’t had many scoring opportunities — she picked a good time to get her first,” said Yamada with a smile.
The victory was Cathedral’s third over Canyon Crest this season (the other two coming during a four-day span in September) and lifts the Dons into Thursday’s CIF semi-finals against another familiar foe, No. 1 seed and two-time defending Open Division kingpin Serra. The 24-0 Conquistadors increased their current winning streak to 76 games with a 10-0 first round home win over Patrick Henry Tuesday.
Serra’s owns three victories in as many tries against Cathedral this fall. The first two were 7-0 and 6-0 drubbings but the third, played just last Tuesday, was a hard-fought, 1-0, decision that gives the Dons reason for confidence coming into meeting No. 4 (check cifsds.org for the confirmed game time).
“They’re undefeated and will be favored, deservedly so,” said Yamada. “But we have nothing to lose. We played a great game against them last week and I know we have the capability to beat them if we play like we can.”
The winner will face either second-seeded Rancho Buena Vista, a 2-1 winner over Torrey Pines, or San Pasqual, which upset No. 3 seed Scripps Ranch, 1-0. Saturday’s title game at Serra High School will be played at 3 p.m.