The Palisades High School girls soccer team has earned the third seed behind El Camino Real and Taft in the Los Angeles City Section Division 1 playoffs.
Weather permitting, the Dolphins will host 15th seeded Arleta on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 3 p.m. The winner advances to play the winner of the Cleveland vs. Fremont game on Thursday, Feb. 23 in the quarterfinals. The semi-finals will be held Feb. 28 and the championship match will be held March 4 at Valley College.
The Dolphins, who went 11-0-1 in Western League play, have an overall record of 13-1-2. In nonleague games they beat Brentwood, 1-0, lost to Santa Monica, 3-2, and tied El Camino, 1-1.
“We play with a lot of heart and a lot of desire,” Coach Christian Chambers said. “We have a team with a lot of soccer awareness.”
Chambers faces an interesting challenge in playoffs. He has some of the top club players in the city on his team, which meant that for most of league play, the ball rarely advanced into his team’s side of the field. In 16 games, opponents scored just six goals. By contrast, Pali crushed their league opponents by scores such as 9-1, 7-0 and 6-0.
“The West Valley typically has the toughest teams,” said Chambers, who acknowledged that after floating through league play, playoff time can be a challenge for his team to regain a more competitive rhythm. “That’s why it’s nice to play teams like El Camino and Santa Monica,” he said. “We’re always better in the second half of the game.”