Claremont brings decisive end to Webb’s record win streak

by Andrew Alonzo | aalonzo@claremont-courier.com

Claremont High School’s girls varsity soccer team snapped Vivian Webb School’s 28-game winning streak Saturday with a decisive 4-0 win at home.

The Gauls’ streak was the fifth longest in California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section history.

The Wolfpack scored four second half goals, two by CHS junior forward Isabella Salas, in the nonleague match. The result boosted Claremont’s overall record to 12-2-1 and gave Webb, now 7-1, its first loss of the season.

Claremont’s co-head coach Nicole Giles said a win over a team as hot as Webb is a big confidence booster going into Palomares League play.

“We basically proved to ourself that if we play our game and not work into what the other teams are trying to make us do, then we’re going to be successful,” she said.

Webb Schools sophomore defender Jasmine Beseth, in white, forces Claremont junior midfielder Alanna Heem out wide during Saturday’s nonleague game at CHS. The Wolfpack’s 4-0 victory ended the Gauls 28-game win streak, the fifth longest in CIF history. Courier/photo Andrew Alonzo

Webb peppered CHS goalkeeper Araxy Garnica throughout the first half. Its best chance of the game came early, with about 34:30 to go, when junior Gauls midfielder Reagan Ollivierre took a strike from outside the box, forcing Araxy to make an outstretched parry save. Claremont’s defense cleared the ball, but it fell to Webb senior forward Abbey Cook whose strike was then blocked off the goal line by a CHS defender. The Webb threat was stopped when Araxy secured the ball.

The CHS defense was tested the entire first half, which ended scoreless. The second saw a big change in momentum.

Claremont kicked off the second half and was on the board after just 20 seconds. The team’s first attacking sequence was completed by Salas, who received the ball on the left wing, dribbled past two Gauls defenders to get inside the penalty area and unleashed a ferocious strike into the top corner to make it 1-0.

Eight minutes later, CHS sophomore midfielder Baylee Cannings made it 2-0 after finishing a tidy passing sequence that unlocked the Webb defense. The goal seemed to wake the Gauls, who began to clear CHS threats.

With about four minutes remaining, CHS quelled a Webb attack and punched back with a quick counter of its own as Salas scored to give Claremont a 3-0 lead. Shouts of offside were heard from the Webb sideline but the goal stood.

Claremont High School junior forward Isabella Salas takes one last look at her teammates before Saturday’s 4-0 nonleague win against Webb. The victory ended the Gauls 28-game win streak, the fifth longest in CIF history. COURIER/photo Andrew Alonzo

Inside the final seconds, Pack junior forward Gabrielle Flores pounced on a loose ball in the midfield and drove her way through the center of the Gauls defense. In the penalty box, she hit a left-footed strike that deflected in off the Gauls’ post, capping the 4-0 victory.

While it hurt to see his team’s 28-game winning run end, Webb head coach Malick Mbengue put it in perspective.

“Losing was going to happen at some point,” Mbengue said. “And it’s just that we have to have the same mentality like, let’s keep going. Our goal was not necessarily [winning] this game but being successful in league and making it far in the playoffs.”

Both teams continue play on Tuesday, January 10, with CHS hosting Bonita at 5:15 p.m. and Webb welcoming Pacifica Christian at 3:15 p.m.

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