The Mira Costa girls soccer team received a wake-up call early in Thursday’s quarterfinal against West Ranch in the South Torrance Holiday Tournament.
After running through the first seven opponents of the season, the Mustangs (8-0) allowed two early goals Thursday, but those were the only two goals they would allow.
Mira Costa scored the next six goals to prevail 6-2 and advance to Monday’s semifinal against South Torrance at 8 a.m. The semifinal matches will be played at South High School.
“That was the first time all season they’ve struggled,” Mira Costa assistant coach Adam Pomfret said of the Mustangs. “They quickly realized they were in a game tonight as opposed to having everything go their way, as they’ve have the whole season."
The Mustangs had a limited roster due to injuries. Rachel Rosen, Sierra Sargent, Ashley Stepczyk and Rachel Fox all were sidelined for the game.
Skye Davis got Mira Costa on the board in the first half and Grace Watkins scored the equalizer right before halftime.
Early in the second half, Davis got on the end of a corner kick sent in by Chloe Hartley to give the Mustangs a 3-2 lead.
“We had to knuckle down. We changed the formation up a little bit and went three up top and allowed the midfield to spread a little,” Pomfret said. “We got one back quick, which allowed us to get our foothold in the game and once we got back to 2-2, we settled down and played our own football.”
From there, the Mustangs took firm control as Hartley, Ashley Weaver and Sydney Miyasaki each scored and extended the lead to 6-2.
“I think they were struggling a little bit just going down 2-0,” Pomfret said. “They’ve never been in that situation yet, so they needed to calm down on the panic stations, and once they calmed themselves down and got back to playing how they can play, they won out in the end.”
With Watkins engineering the offense from her midfield role, the Mustangs were able to utilize Davis’ speed on the flanks.
“She was injured a lot last season,” Pomfret said of Davis. “This season, she’s come back and she’s improving game by game. Physical, quick, she’s solid out there on the left wing. She’s doing well, so hopefully that will be a big bonus for us.”
REDONDO 4, WEST TORRANCE 1 >> Sophie Crouts scored two goals in the first half and Eissa Quinones and Malia DeCastro added goals to send the Sea Hawks into the semifinals.
Redondo will face Culver City in the semifinals Monday at 9:30 a.m. at South High.