Loyola is up for the task

first_imgThe only other local teams earning top-four seeds were Tri-Valley League champion Oaks Christian of Westlake Village at No. 4 in Div. V and Liberty League champion Viewpoint of Calabasas at No.4 in Div. VI. Loyola advanced the furthest of any area team last season, losing in the Div. II semifinals. The Cubs faced Thousand Oaks in the final the previous two years and could run into the Lancers in the postseason again, as they have also moved to Div. I. The leading threats in Div. I are from the Moore League. Millikan of Long Beach went undefeated during the regular season, but had to settle for the division’s No. 2 seed behind league rival Long Beach Wilson, which tied the Rams twice. Sunset League champion LosAlamitos rounds out the division’s top four seeds. Mission League boys’ soccer teams have had their share of success while competing in the Southern Section playoffs’ lower divisions. St. Francis of La Canada Flintridge won championships in divisions II, III and IV. Loyola of Los Angeles reached the Div. II final two of the past three years, sharing the title in 2005. Continuing the trend will require the biggest challenge yet for the Mission schools, which this season jumped to Div.I, where they will compete among much larger schools for a spot in the March 3 final. So far, the league doesn’t appear to be hindered by the move as league champion Loyola was the area’s highest seed in playoff pairings released Monday. The Cubs (21-6-3) are seeded No. 4 and open Saturday at home against the winner of Wednesday’s wild-card game between Westlake and Cabrillo of Long Beach. center_img Other contenders include Royal of Simi Valley (21-2-4), which is coming off an undefeated run through the Marmonte League, extending its undefeated streak to 22 games. The Highlanders are ranked seventh in the division’s final top-10 poll. St. Francis (24-4-0), second among the four Mission teams to qualify for the postseason, won two tournament championships and has spent much of the season ranked in the division’s top 10. The Golden Knights’ only league losses were to Loyola. Loyola thrives on a defense that has posted 18 shutouts, including nine in its past 10games. The Cubs haven’t allowed more than one goal in a game since losing to City Section power Canoga Park, currently ranked No. 3 in the nation, in the final of the West Coast Classic in December. [email protected] (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img