first_imgIt didn’t change the fact that for a sixth consecutive year the division failed to produce a winner. But the Lions’ 0-0 draw against Valley Christian of Cerritos at Downey High’s Allen Layne Stadium gave Oaks Christian its fourth co-championship in five seasons, capping a postseason run that began as a wild-card entry following a fourth-place finish in the Tri-Valley League. “They overcame a lot, and that’s why I feel really good about this,” said Oaks Christian coach Jan Hethcock, whose team played Valley Christian (18-8-4) to a 2-2 tie in the 2005 final. “We played well. I don’t know if we played as well as we have (earlier in the postseason), but we had to win our last three in league to get into fourth place, then we had to win a wild-card game against Crossroads and come from behind in the first round to beat Brentwood in the third overtime. DOWNEY – They didn’t win. Nor did they score. But for all the years a tie in the Southern Section Div. V final felt like a loss to the members of the Oaks Christian of Westlake Village girls’ soccer team, Saturday’s outcome was a little bit easier to swallow. “It’s not an excuse; I just think it takes a lot out of the kids.” Oaks Christian (16-6-2), which is 23-2-4 all-time in the postseason, controlled the run of play in the first half despite playing into the wind. Hethcock hoped the decision to play into the wind to start would allow the Lions to open their offense in the second half, but junior Kelsea Smith – who scored the winning goal in Tuesday’s 2-1 semifinal victory over Notre Dame Academy of West Los Angeles – was slowed in the final 30 minutes after being the recipient of a hard tackle early in the second half. “We were hoping it could be (a win) this time, but this is awesome,” said Casey DaSilva, who, along with fellow seniors Caroline Cislo and Melissa Dahl, lost only once in 20 career playoff games. “Coming to the finals and to get another chance is an amazing feeling. We came in here as the underdog, and we would have liked to get a win, but a tie is not a loss, so it’s not a bad thing at all.” DaSilva had the Lions’ best opportunity in the second half, but her 6-yard shot following a Hannah MacKechnie cross was saved by Tracy Boekestein, who finished with 12 saves. Oaks Christian sophomore goalkeeper Noe Salter came up with the biggest of her 10 saves in the 68th minute, knocking down a point-blank shot from 10 yards by Hayley Haagsma, before Lauren Lindstrom kicked the ball out of harm’s way. “I had to make a decision to come out or go down to the floor,” Salter said. “There wasn’t any time to think, and it definitely doesn’t get any easier every time. Luckily, Lauren was there to kick it out.” [email protected] (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more