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Sophomore is hat stuff with 3 goals

03/05/2013, 10:28pm PST
By Glae Thien, Special to the U-T

Standout returns from Olympic Development Program to help Knights win.

Bishop’s sophomore Sara Chase scores one of her three goals against LACES. The Knights advanced into the SoCal Regional semifinals.

After being away when Bishop’s prevailed in the San Diego Section girls soccer finals, Knights sophomore Sara Chase quickly made an impact in her return for the next playoff step.

It took Chase just 20 seconds to score in the Southern California Regional Division III quarterfinals against Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies on Tuesday.

Truly just getting started, she proceeded to score all three goals in leading the top-seeded hosts to a 3-0 victory.

Chase was involved in the Olympic Development Program with the Cal South 1996 team in Dallas when Bishop’s topped Francis Parker 2-1 for the section Division IV crown on Saturday.

“I felt really bad being away from my team,” said Chase, who has 17 goals and 15 assists on the season. “It’s nice to come back. I knew my teammates had a lot of success, so I was happy to add to that.”

The win advanced the Knights (19-2-3) to the semifinals on Thursday, also at home, against No. 4 Westlake Village Oaks Christian (22-3-1). The Division III championship game is at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Warren High in Downey.

While helping her ODP team win a national title, Chase also used the occasion to enhance her game for the Knights.

“Going from high school (play) for a few months, it was a big transition playing against such good players,” Chase said. “It quickened my pace, and that helped coming back. I was a lot faster.”

That became clear on the first possession when Chase converted off an assist from Geny Decker to move ahead of the No. 8 Unicorns (19-3-3), the two-time reigning Los Angeles Section Division III champions.

Chase next scored in the 19th minute to account for a 2-0 halftime lead. When she completed her hat trick, the Knights owned a 15-1 cumulative scoring edge against their four playoff foes.

“One of the main things for us is knowing what to do when we get the ball,” said Decker, a senior, who leads Bishop’s with 38 goals. “You always have to know what the next pass is. That’s very important.”

The Knights, under coach Brian Quinn, are seeking their second regional crown after winning the inaugural title in 2008.

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