Mira Costa’s Megan Carver, center, battles West Torrance’s Devoney Amberg for the ball in the Bay League opener for both teams. Photo by Ray Vidal
In a battle between two top-ten teams, Mira Costa emerged with a 2-1 win over West Torrance on the first day of Bay League competition,
Ranked No. 1 in CIF Southern Section Division 2, Mira Costa (15-1-2) won the physical, hard-fought contest at West when McKenna Doyle headed the game-winning goal past Warrior goalkeeper Ruth Soto with two minutes remaining in regulation.
West (12-4-1), ranked No. 9 in Division 2, drew first blood with a goal by Chidera Akubuilo before Hanna Watkins tied the score on a penalty kick after Kimby Keever drew the foul.
The game sets up the first of two meetings between rivals Mira Costa and Redondo when the young Sea Hawk team hosts the Mustangs Friday in a 3 p.m. contest.
“It’s always exciting to start Bay League play,” Mira Costa head coach Patty Perkinson said. “Every team is a huge challenge but of course Redondo is our rival, so I’m expecting a great game. And like I tell the girls, one game at a time. We need to take each game step by step to reach our goal as returning Bay League champs.”
Friday’s game was supposed to feature two University of Washington recruits going head-to-head, but a possible season-ending injury will keep Redondo standout Shannon Simon on the sidelines and unable to face her future Husky teammate, Keever.
Simon had played in only three games for the Sea Hawks this season while Keever has been named MVP in two tournaments, recovering fully from a knee injury that kept her out of last season,
“This year’s team is fun and exciting to watch with so much talent,” Perkinson said. “It’s been fantastic having Kimby Keever healthy this season. She is a joy to watch and has so much speed that others cannot keep up with.”
Redondo (8-5-1) is coming off a 5-3 loss at Peninsula. Shelby Barnes gave the Sea Hawks a 1-0 lead before the Panthers scored two unanswered goals before halftime.
Essie Bonnie’s goal tied the game at two and freshman Madison Kennel evened the score at three but that ended the scoring for Redondo. Kennel assisted on the first two goals.
Mira Costa will continue league play when it hosts Leuzinger on Tuesday before traveling to Peninsula on Friday, Jan. 24. Redondo hosts West on Tuesday and Palos Verdes the following Friday. All games are slated for 3 p.m.