February 11, 2009 > Soccer roundup
By Gary van den Heuvel
The MVAL soccer season wrapped up last weekend with Washington High School's girls team leapfrogging over Mission San Jose to capture the league crown, while three boys teams jockeyed for the remaining two playoff spots.
Following a 3-3 tie with American on January 29, Mission's girls could have clinched the MVAL with a victory in its finale at Newark Memorial. Instead, the Warriors' lone goal by Taylor Jackson (the MVAL's leader in both goals per game and points per game) wasn't enough, and a 1-1 tie was the final result.
The Huskies vaulted into first place with a 1-0 win over Irvington on February 3, and a season finale 3-1 defeat of James Logan. Paige Diamond scored two of the Huskies goals in the victory over Logan. Finishing with a record of 8-2-2, Washington's 26 points bested Mission's 7-1-4 mark, which amounted to 25 points for the Warriors (three points awarded per win, one point per tie).
The postseason starts on February 11 at Washington's Tak Fudenna Stadium, where top-seed Washington will square off against fourth-seeded Logan (6-5-1); second-seeded Mission will do battle with #3 American (6-2-4) in the tournament format.
At the start of the week, Newark-Memorial's boys squad had wrapped up the MVAL crown, and were aiming for an undefeated league season. Those hopes were dashed in a 2-1 upset loss at Logan. However, Logan couldn't build on that momentum and saw their season end with a 2-1 loss to Washington in a must-win final game for both teams.
Washington locked up a postseason berth with a third-place MVAL mark of 6-5-1, and Irvington snuck past Logan by beating American 3-1. Irvington (6-5-1) reached the postseason for the first time since 2004, gaining their spot by virtue of a better overall record than the Colts, who likewise finished 6-5-1 in league games.
Mission San Jose (6-5-1), despite a 3-0 loss on February 6 to Newark-Memorial, had entered the week with their postseason berth already locked in, and they'll play the MVAL tournament as the #2 seed.
In the Hayward Area Athletic League (HAAL), Bishop O'Dowd (11-1-2, 35 points) and Castro Valley (11-2-1, 34 points) are setting the tone in the boys league, followed by San Lorenzo (9-3-2, 29 points) and Hayward (7-2-5, 26 points).
Castro Valley's girls team leads the league with a record of 10-0-1 (31 points), three points ahead of O'Dowd (9-1-1, 28 points) and four ahead of Redwood Christian (9-2, 27 points). Arroyo is currently in fourth place with 15 points; Hayward is fifth with 13. The HAAL teams still have a week to go before postseason, so nothing's settled as of yet.