Palisades Charter High School’s boys soccer team, the defending City Section champions, were upset by Sylmar, 1-0, in this year’s quarterfinals on Friday, Feb. 24. The Spartans thus avenged their loss to Pali in the semifinals a year ago, on penalty kicks.
Tenth-seeded Sylmar established control early in the game with ball control, speed and consistent passing, forcing the Dolphins to play defense for much of the game.
The game’s top players had to be Pali’s goalie, senior Vaughn Gemeiner, who made repeated saves.
The No. 2-seeded Dolphins nearly scored in the 72nd minute, but Sylmar quickly reestablished control. At the end of regulation play, the referee signaled there would be four minutes added time, and at about 81 minutes the Spartans’ Gabriel Cabrai scored.
Palisades, coached by David Suarez, was 17-1 overall and 12-0 in league.
Fremont, seeded No. 6, also scored an upset by beating third-seeded El Camino Real in penalty kicks after a 1-1 tie. In the semi-finals for Feb. 28, Granada Hills will face Marquez and Fremont will play Sylmar. The championship game is March 4 at Valley College.