Ventura High School's boys soccer team had scored 99 goals in its first 29 games. Marina's had conceded eight in its first 27. When the teams faced off in Tuesday's CIF Southern Section Division I semifinal, the advantage went to the Cougars.
J.J. Leon scored a goal and assisted another -- delivering a cross for Erick Sandoval -- to send Ventura (23-0-7) to a 2-0 victory over their Huntington Beach-based foe (18-3-7) and into Saturday night's final against second-seeded Millikan (25-2-4).
The Rams, from Long Beach, rallied from a two-goal deficit after just 15 minutes to tie Los Angeles' Loyola (22-4-6) in the other D1 semi, then prevailed on penalties when Steven Barrera made two saves in the shootout.
Millikan, in its second final in four years, received goals from Kyle Nicolau before halftime and Jaime Salazar in the closing minutes.
In other CIF Southern Section boys semifinals:
Capistrano Valley 2, La Sierra 1: The Cougars (11-12-4), from Mission Viejo, scored twice in the final three minutes to upset Riverside's La Sierra (18-5-5) and reach their second straight Division 2 final. Kevin Baboiyan knocking home the rebound when Eagles goalkeeper Victor Rodriguez saved Dylan Browning's penalty kick, and Browning netted the winner a minute later, appearing to deflect the ball into the net with his upper arm.
Valley View 2, Coachella Valley 1: Danny Rivas scored with four minutes to go in regulation to tie the score and Miguel Hernandez tallied in overtime to lead the second-seeded Eagles (19-2-6), from Moreno Valley, to a 2-1 Division 2 triumph at Thermal's Coachella Valley (14-7-1).
Paramount 3, Santa Ana Valley 1: Tommy Osorio scored in the fourth minute, Danny Garcia in the 15th, and the second-seeded Pirates (21-4-3) continued their quest for a third successive Division 3 championship. It was Paramount's third postseason victory over the Falcons (17-8-2) in three seasons, including a triumph en route to the Southern California Regional championship -- the closest thing California has to a state title -- two years ago.
Channel Islands 2, Palmdale 0: Everaldo Fernandez converted a 62nd-minute penalty kick and Hector Mottu scored nine minutes later as the Raiders (19-2-4), from Oxnard, toppled Palmdale (25-4-0) in a Division 3 clash.
El Rancho 3, Cathedral 1: Miguel Vilchis, Federico Bobadilla and Alex Roldan scored first-half goals to send the top-ranked Dons (26-0-0), from Pico Rivera, past L.A.'s Cathedral (16-4-2) in a Division 4 game. El Rancho, ranked fifth in the nation by ESPN Rise, is seeking its second straight Southern Section title.
Crescenta Valley 1, Oak Hills 1: The Falcons (19-0-7), from La Crescenta, prevailed from the spot, 5-3, to keep Oak Hills (23-3-3) from reaching its third straight title game in a Division 4 clash. Pavle Atanackovic won and converted a penalty kick in the first half, scoring his 38th goal of the season C.V.
Lakeside 2, Colton 1: Ismael Carlin scored, Ricky Ruiz converted a penalty kick and goalkeeper Jose Chavez saved a PK as the Lancers (18-7-3), from Lake Elsinore, overcame Colton (15-8-6) in a Division 5 semifinal.
Cajon 2, Granite Hills 0: Carlos Trinidad and Samuel Meyer tallied for the top-seeded Cowboys (23-4-5), from San Bernardino, toppled Apple Valley's Granite Hills (20-6-1) in a Division 5 match.
Crossroads 2, Desert Hot Springs 1: Nick Santiago converted a penalty kick and Willy Gansa scored on a header to lead the Roadrunners (16-6-2), from Santa Monica, past 2011 finalist Desert Hot Springs (18-8-4) in Division 6.
Desert Mirage 2, Citrus Hill 1: Leonardo Garcia scored from Jimmie Villalobos' feed in overtime to send the second-seeded Rams (22-1-2), from Thermal, past the defending champs from Perris (21-5-2). Villalobos, whose penalty kick was saved earlier, forced the extra period with a 78th-minute goal.
Cate 5, Paraclete 1: Eric Boateng scored one goal and assisted another to lead the top-seeded Rams (18-1-1), the defending champs from Carpinteria, past Paraclete (15-11-3) in as Division 7 clash in Lancaster.
University Prep 3, Mary Star of the Sea 0: Oscar Bonilla, who missed the first three playoff games because of illness, scored his 40th and 41st goals of the season to send the third-seeded Jaguars (22-3-0), from Victorville, past San Pedro's Mary Star (11-9-3) in Division 7.