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Warriors reach field hockey CIF final

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Fallbrook High School head field hockey coach Debbie Berg and her players would have preferred a win rather than a loss in the CIF Division I championship game Nov. 12 at La Costa Canyon High School, when Valley Center won the championship with a 2-1 victory over the Warriors, but for Berg and her players a loss in the final is preferable to a loss in the Division I quarterfinals which is what happened with the Warriors last year.

“Good progress,” Berg said.

Fallbrook ended the 2022 season with a 16-8 overall record including two playoff victories and the finals loss. The Warriors were 8-2 in Palomar League play, allowing a league championship banner to be added to the high school in the future.

“The last time Fallbrook won league was in 2011,” Berg said. “We were very proud of our success, and our hard work paid off.”

Fallbrook and Mission Vista both had 8-2 Palomar League records, although Fallbrook defeated the Timberwolves in 3-1 games Oct. 6 in Oceanside and Oct. 26 in Fallbrook. The Warriors opened the season with a 2-0 home win Sept. 30 against San Pasqual and began league play with four victories, including three shutouts, before a 2-1 loss Oct. 13 at Valley Center and 4-1 defeat Oct. 19 at San Pasqual. Fallbrook’s final four league contests were Warriors triumphs including a 2-1 home win Oct. 31 against Valley Center which closed out the regular season.

Mission Vista defeated Valley Center twice. Valley Center split the Jaguars’ games with Del Norte and finished the season with a 6-4 league record for third place. That was Del Norte’s only league win in 2022; San Pasqual had a 5-5 Palomar League record worth fourth in the standings while Mount Carmel finished 2-8 in league play.

All six Palomar League teams were in the CIF playoffs. Mission Vista was seeded seventh in the Open Division but lost to second-seeded Torrey Pines. Fallbrook was the top Division I seed; Valley Center was seeded second; San Pasqual was given the fifth seed, Mount Carmel had the seventh seed, and Del Norte was seeded eighth among the 12 Division I teams.

The teams with the four highest seeds received first-round byes. Del Norte hosted Helix in the first round, and a 2-1 overtime victory advanced the Nighthawks to the quarterfinal round. Del Norte traveled to Fallbrook for that Nov. 8 game which ended as a 5-0 Warriors victory.

Cathedral Catholic had the fourth seed. The Dons followed their first-round bye with a 1-0 quarterfinals triumph over San Pasqual. Fallbrook hosted Cathedral in the Nov. 10 semifinal and won a 1-0 game.

Fallbrook and Valley Center actually played each other four times in 2022. An Oct. 22 tournament game ended as a 1-0 Warriors win. The final’s result in the Jaguars’ favor gave each team two victories in the four games between Fallbrook and Valley Center.

The coronavirus shutdown delayed the 2020-21 season, so there were no field hockey playoffs. Fallbrook won the CIF Division II championship in 2019. “We haven’t reached the final since we won it three years ago,” Berg said.

The 2022 Warriors scored 66 goals and allowed 24. “We are a very strong second-half team,” Berg said. “We are a second-half team because we work very hard at our fitness.”


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