Monarchs earn first regional playoff win in program history, fall in semifinals to El Segundo
EXETER – The class of 2021 experienced a variety of historical events during their last two years of high school, and the Exeter girls soccer team added another to the list. After last Tuesday’s 3-0 win at Venice High School, they became the first team in program history to win a CIF Southern California Regional playoff game.
That win followed their Division IV Valley championship victory over Central Valley Christian, which is also a first in program history after three prior trips under head coach Darin Lasky. Their season finally ended last Thursday in a 4-0 loss at El Segundo High School, as the Monarchs fell one game shy of a Regional championship appearance.
Following a several hour trip down south, Exeter controlled the entire game against the Venice Gondoliers. They were in attack mode for the entire first half and had a shot on goal within the first 30 seconds of the opening whistle. That set the tempo for the remainder of the match as they scored three first half goals to take a 3-0 lead, which they held on to. Three different players got in on the action as freshman Kailani Minugh, sophomore Olivia Vasquez and junior America Lopez all found the back of the net.
Two days later they embarked on another trek to Los Angeles to play the El Segundo Eagles. They kept it close as neither team allowed a goal through the first half before the Eagles quickly began to run away with it. El Segundo opened the second half with a goal within the first few minutes, and got another shortly after. The Eagles closed it out with two more goals in the last 15 minutes to seal the deal and end the Monarchs’ season.
Despite being met with sorrow because the season was over, Exeter couldn’t help but appreciate their accomplishments. During a season that nearly didn’t happen, this year’s Monarch squad soared to heights that no other team had reached. It’s even more impressive considering the team’s youth as they had only eight girls with previous varsity experience and they fielded more freshmen and sophomores (12) than juniors and seniors (seven). As the team is only graduating two seniors, the confidence is already high for next year’s Monarch squad.
“I’m really proud of the girls, they kind of put us on the map a little bit,” Lasky said. “For them to gel like they did, and then pull it together, [despite] dealing with the youth that we had on the team and that learning curve for those girls was pretty cool to watch.”