Danville Express

Sports - February 23, 2007

Griffin's goal golden

Mustangs' narrow win over Richmond keeps them in playoffs

by Rachel McMurdie

Varsity soccer senior defender Jack Griffin of Monte Vista proved the third time is a charm. His first two shots, both headers off a corner kick, were collected by Richmond's keeper but his third shot found the back of the net, breaking the 67-minute stalemate and giving the No. 1-seeded Mustangs a 1-0 win over Richmond in the North Coast Section 3-A quarterfinal match Saturday.

The win allowed Monte Vista (17-0-7) to advance to the semifinals, where they hosted Washington-Fremont on Wednesday. (Scores unavailable by press time.)

Griffin's shot came with just 13 minutes left in the game. David Miller-Hershown sent a perfectly placed corner kick toward the center of the goal where Griffin put it past Richmond's Nelson Gonzales. Gonzales, who had four saves during the game, had stopped two of Griffin's headers earlier in the game, but this one found its way past. Monte Vista's goalkeeper, Jack Lynch, put a stop on the Oilers' advances on the other end, picking up six saves.

Saturday's match was the fourth time in the past five years the Mustangs and the Oilers (18-5-1) had met in the playoffs. The Mustangs, despite a lower seed in the previous three years, won each of those matches by one.

Girls soccer

In a dramatic double-overtime, San Ramon Valley earned a 3-A quarterfinal win over California High on Saturday. Five minutes before the game went to penalty kicks, San Ramon Valley's Amanda Glass sent home the game-winning goal, a header off a corner kick carefully placed by Gabby Parisella. The victory sent the No. 5 Wolves (15-7-3) into the semifinal match Wednesday where they hosted top seed Castro Valley. (Scores unavailable by press time.)

In another 3-A quarterfinal Saturday, the Mustangs cruised to an easy win over Castro Valley, 6-1. Monte Vista (14-3-7) scored twice in the first 10 minutes. Back-to-back goals in the second half crushed any hope of an Eagle (17-5-4) comeback. Courtney Jones led the Mustangs with three goals and one assist. Lauren Anderson put in two goals and Melanie Buich capped off scoring with a final goal in the 78th minute.

Boys basketball

Five East Bay Athletic League schools earned bids to the North Coast Section Basketball Playoffs, which began this week. Monte Vista, San Ramon Valley, Foothill, Amador Valley and California High will vie for their share of the boys basketball title, but they'll once again face tough competition from De La Salle, this year's No. 1 seed and winner of the last eight crowns.

On Tuesday, San Ramon Valley (17-9) played No. 5 Newark Memorial (19-7) in Newark in the first round. Newark won, 72-63, and advances to the quarterfinals.

San Ramon Valley, edged Pittsburg (16-9), Washington (16-10) and James Logan (12-14) for the 12th and final berth in the D-1 bracket.

Monte Vista, seeded third, will host the winners of the Amador Valley/Antioch first round game, in a quarterfinal match tonight at 8 p.m. The Mustangs (23-3) beat both teams during the regular season. In a non-league game in December, Monte Vista beat Antioch 57-50. The Mustangs are 2-0 this season over Amador, winning 47-44 in January and 74-43 on Feb. 6.

Girls basketball

After a 25-1 regular season and a league title, the Mustang girls basketball team is looking for another crown in the NCS playoffs. Tonight at 6:30, third-seeded Monte Vista will host the winners of Tuesday's first round matchup between Granada and Pittsburg. The Mustangs are 2-0 over Granada in the regular season, first beating them 44-38 in January and then 51-34 when the teams met Feb. 9.

Wrestling

San Ramon Valley's Matt Rudow won the EBAL title in the 171-pound division Saturday. Rudow pinned two opponents before beating Granada's Peter Pelle 6-5 in the final match.

Monte Vista's Ben Theriault wrestled his way into the semifinal round of the East Bay League championships but lost to Foothill's Tommy Wipfli in the 135-pound division. Wipfli, a senior, went on to win his fourth straight EBAL title.

E-mail photos to Editor@DanvilleWeekly.com

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