On Friday, March 3, 2017, soccer history was made as Viewpoint High School captured the CIF Division 5 Southern Section Championship after five grueling playoff matches throughout Southern California.
Five of the 11 players on the field for Viewpoint are local girls with deep roots in Malibu soccer.
The three senior Malibu starters — Lee Sandel, her twin sister Maya Sandel and Kat Ulich — have been playing together since they were in kindergarten at Point Dume Marine Science School. These three played their first soccer game on the AYSO Garden Fairies Team and, 12 years later, are still playing soccer. They will end their high school career as Viewpoint Patriots and CIF Southern Section Champions.
Maya as center defender, Kat as center mid-fielder and Lee as left defender, along with goalie and Malibu local, Viewpoint junior Jacqueline Adell, were able to handle the pressure game after game without loosing their cool or composure for a shutout on Friday night. Superstar forward Sophia Stills scored in the first five minutes of the match and freshman and Malibu local Sarah Konopaske powered the second goal before halftime to defeat Crean Lutheran, 2-0, capturing Viewpoint’s first section title in its program’s history.
“This season has been magical. Surreal, to be a small part of their journey and their experience,” coach Travis Kikugawa told the Daily Journal after the win. “I’ve been around the athletic field for 20-plus years and I don’t think I have ever been around a team that has this much resilience, character and heart.”
The journey continues as this history-making team advances to the Southern California State regional playoffs this week.