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Santiago gets seed for CIF girls soccer playoffs

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Santiago coach Mike Fleming, who helped guide the Sharks to a CIF Division 2 championship and a CIF-State Division 1 Regional Championship in 2015, knows the best way to win is to not let opponents score.

In 2015, Santiago gave up 22 goals in 35 games and had 14 shutouts en route to a 26-1-8 record. It’s a feat Fleming would probably like to repeat against a stacked CIF-SS Division 1 girls soccer bracket.

“Anybody you face (in Division 1) has the potential to beat you,” Fleming said. “We need to start with defense and go from there, we also have to chase scoreboard.

“You have to come with your ‘A’ game, every game.”

Santiago, the fifth-seeded team in Division 1, and Vista Murrieta, the No. 2 seed in Division 2, highlight 37 Inland area girls soccer teams that received berths Monday into the CIF-SS playoffs.

Vista Murrieta headlines a Division 2 field of eight area teams, including Poly, Citrus Valley, Yucaipa, REV and Redlands.

Key first-round matchups include Norco at Temecula Valley on Thursday evening, which features second-place teams from two of the top Inland area’s top leagues – Southwestern and Big VIII.

Tuesday, a Division 4 wild-card matchup between Valley View and host Grand Terrace, the 2016 Division 6 champs, should make for quality viewing.

As for Santiago, first up is Long Beach Millikan, the third-place team from the Moore League, which threatens the Sharks’ playoff hopes.

“We open with Millikan, which beat Moore League champion Long Beach Wilson twice,” Fleming said. “It’s a very tough division and the first team to five wins, wins.”

Contact the writer: dzink@scng.com

 

http://www.pe.com/articles/division-825459-cif-santiago.html

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