Pasadena Westridge scored once in the second half Tuesday night against Nipomo. Once was enough.
Kaitlin Zareno took a Makala Thomas pass, zipped along down the East sideline and knocked a left-to-right shot into the right corner of the net in the 13th minute of the second half for the winning goal. The Tigers edged the Titans 2-1 in a CIF Southern Section Division 4 wild card game at Pioneer Valley High School.
"After that goal, they started playing defense," said Nipomo coach Mark Rubio. "They're a good team." The Titans didn't get off a shot in the second half.
Westridge moved to 14-4-2. Nipomo finished 10-9-4. The Tigers finished third in the Prep League. The Titans wound up third in the Los Padres League.
The game was moved from Nipomo to Pioneer Valley because recent rain left the Titans' pitch unplayable.
Thomas helped do the Titans in with her deft passing. She got the assist as N'Dea Godwin scored the first goal.
Westridge controlled the ball most of the first 20 minutes of the first half. A wide open Godwin took Thomas' pass and scored in the eighth minute.
"(Thomas) got the ball and then passed back," said Rubio. "It was a good play."
As the first half wore on, Lauren Iliff helped the Titans control the midfield area. With Iliff quarterbacking the attack, Nipomo's long ball attack started to click, and the Titans got into Tigers territory regularly.
Jackie Lopez started giving the Tigers trouble with her ballhandling and, as the Titans flooded the goal area in the Tigers penalty box, Iliff got the ball to Hayde Gallardo who scored from point-blank range.
Nipomo goalkeeper Elizabeth Brock made eight saves. One of those came several minutes after Zareno scored, when Brock reached high to grab a promising-looking long shot from out-of-bounds.
She also came out of the box several times to thwart Westridge shots. Brock dove to try to stop the eventual winning shot, but she couldn't come close.
Westridge goalkeeper Sara Lemas had to make just two saves.
Fullback Maritza Ramirez helped the Titans keep the Tigers from getting many good scoring opportunities after intermission, but the Nipomo offense simply couldn't break through.
Nipomo had 10 non-seniors on its roster Tuesday night.
"Next year," Rubio said. "Next year."
Westridge will play at West Covina in the first round Thursday.
Girls water polo
Santa Ynez, Nipomo win
Top-ranked Santa Ynez and Nipomo both won their Division 7 first-round games easily. The Pirates defeated La Puente 18-3 at home. The Titans won 13-4 at Fountain Valley Los Amigos.
No details from either game were available.
Both teams will play at home Thursday in the second round. Santa Ynez will play Cate, which beat Chadwick 11-9 on Tuesday. Nipomo will take on Santa Fe Springs Santa Fe, which beat Pomona Catholic 16-1 on Tuesday.