SAN DIEGO — Valhalla High School girls soccer coach David Macky came to one conclusion while trying to comprehend how his second-seeded team could lose 3-0 to San Pasqual:
“She’s such a big difference,” Macky said. “The opportunity was there for us, but she just brings too much to their team.”
Macky was only partly right. Sure, MacMillan scored the first goal in the Eagles’ CIF-Division II county semifinal victory Saturday evening at San Diego High School. And, sure, she led the Eagles’ offensive attack with crisp passes and flashy midfield dribbling.
But it took more than MacMillan’s fine play for San Pasqual to advance to Saturday’s county championship game.
San Pasqual, which won five straight CIF-2A county titles from 1986-90, returned to the finals after a one-year absence on the strength of MacMillan’s effort, two second-half goals from freshman Ryan McManus, a big game from goalkeeper Samantha Klibbe and a strong defensive effort led by Michelle Witt and Erin Blunt.
“This is the best we’ve played,” said MacMillan, a senior who was the 2A player of the year as a sophomore in ’90. “We’re peaking.”
The Eagles (18-3-5) are peaking at the right time, too. They’ll play top-seeded Torrey Pines in the final. Torrey Pines beat Monte Vista 5-2 in their semifinal game Saturday night.
Eagles coach Cem Tont will be shooting for his second county title in two years. He led the La Jolla boys team to the Division III championship in 1991.
“We had a very good game,” Tont said.
It didn’t start that way. The Norsemen (16-4-4) went on the attack early, controlling play for the first 10 minutes. After that, however, it was all Eagles.
MacMillan opened the scoring with about 14 minutes left in the first half. McManus powered the ball through a Valhalla defender, and MacMillan was there to blast it into the left side of the goal.
McManus made it 2-0 less than 30 seconds into the second half when she took a loose ball in the goal box and knocked it into an empty net.
“I don’t know what happened on that one,” Macky said.
McManus completed the scoring with a goal off a corner kick with about 15 minutes left.
“I knew we were going to beat this team,” McManus said. “My heart told me.”
And it didn’t even need MacMillan’s help.
Published in the Times Advocate on March 1, 1992.