One week after falling to St. Bonaventure in the 2021 CIF Southern Section’s Division 6 championship match, the Linfield Christian girls’ soccer team returned to Ventura College looking for a different outcome last month. Their loss was a heartbreaker in overtime and the Lady Lions wanted redemption. That is exactly what they got by knocking off the Seraphs, 1-0, to win the school’s first-ever CIF State Regional championship.
Linfield Christian (17-3-3), had been carrying their grudge for a week and started talking about making this opportunity happen right after their finals match-up. St. Bonaventure’s Kaitlyn Prado was the one thing that kept standing in their way that night. Linfield had several scoring chances in the section championship match, but Prado was strong in the keeper’s box. It was a different story when they met again as the Lady Lions scored quickly in the regional title match.
Sinclair Francescon scored the goal, and the Lions recorded their third consecutive shutout in the regionals. Dani Williams delivered a corner kick into the penalty area during the 11th minute of their CIF State championship match. There was a scramble in front of the net, but Francescon was able to get her foot onto the ball and booted it into the net.
“I could not be prouder of the way each player in our program committed themselves to working hard,” Linfield coach Angela Hernandez told the media. “They play for each other and bring character and integrity to the game every time they take the field. This is the reward they deserved.”
Heidi Marshall was clutch with her saves in the keeper box for Linfield, including three against Leilani Armenta, who scored the overtime winner in the section final. Hernandez also had plenty of praise for the back line of Eryn Warren, Francescon, Maddie Byler and Sierra Snow, who were all pivotal in helping Linfield Christian pick up their win, which was their 15th shutout of the season.
JP Raineri can be reached by email at email@example.com.