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Prep Girls Soccer Playoffs: Granite Hills headed to quarterfinals

Alozie breaks school single-season goals record

APPLE VALLEY • No matter how hard the 30-plus mph wind blew at their backs or in their faces, the Granite Hills girls soccer team would not be stopped.

The No. 10 Cougars dominated both halves in their CIF-Southern Section Division 3 second round playoff game and picked up a 3-0 victory over No. 8 Arcadia on a frigid Tuesday afternoon.

“The girls are used to playing in the wind,” Granite Hills coach Mike Bradbury said. “We know what side of the field to use, we know you’ve got to keep the ball on the ground and not put it in the air. We executed exceptionally well.”

Granite Hills (17-5-3) opened the match going against heavy winds, but still controlled the pace of play. What would have been their first goal was waved off on a questionable offsides call, but the Cougars got one that counted in the 13th minute when Ashley Gilliland took a cross from Clarissa Ruiz on the right side and put it home.

That one goal was all they could manage in the first half, but it didn’t take long for Granite Hills to get on the board with the wind at their backs in the second half.

Michelle Alozie scored three minutes into the second half from the left corner of the box off an assist from Ashlenn Bradbury. The goal was her 43rd of the season and set a new school record for most goals in a single season. The sophomore forward broke a record that was set by Kristine Pasek in 2010.

“I knew it was possible (for her to break the record),” Mike Bradbury said. “She’s had an incredible year this year no doubt about it, and it’s not over.”

Katie Saavedra added a goal for good measure in the 65th minute off an assist from B.K. Smith to finish off the scoring.

“We were just able to play our game,” Ashlenn Bradbury said. “The weather didn’t really affect us.”

The Cougars outshot the Apaches 23-5 and goalkeeper Noelle Hele needed to make only two saves for the shutout.

Granite Hills has outscored its first two playoff opponents 6-1, and will travel to top-ranked Yorba Linda for the quarterfinals. Though the matchup is daunting, Mike Bradbury likes where his team is at.

“We’re playing our best soccer at the right time,” he said.

Kyle Glaser can be reached at kglaser@vvdailypress.com or at (760) 951-6274.


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