The top two teams from each group comprise the semifinalists.
Newport Harbor has made it to the tournament title game each of the last three years, winning it in 2004 and 2005 before losing last year’s to CdM. Other teams in the Tars’ group are No. 2 Dos Pueblos, No. 3 Palos Verdes, No. 6 Huntington Beach and No. 7 Carlsbad.
Dos Pueblos would be a potential semifinal matchup Saturday, and Barnett wanted the team in Newport’s group because the Sailors have no nonleague games scheduled against the Chargers.
“I’ve seen them play on tape and I thought they were very formidable,” Barnett said. “They’ve got a really solid team ... Really, it’s a very balanced tournament. I’d say anybody, at this point, can win.”
Junior Nicolina McCall has scored a team-high nine goals for the Sailors’ balanced attack, which also includes six goals from sophomore Kate Klippert and five from senior Mimi Bury and sophomore Kaleigh Gilchrist.
Defending tournament champion CdM (3-3), meanwhile, is seeded third in its group behind Foothill and Long Beach Wilson. The Sea Kings begin their tournament today at 11:45 a.m. against Poway at CdM. A win, and the Sea Kings would play Wilson or Beckman at 4:05 p.m. in the quarterfinals. Other teams in CdM’s group include Edison, Santa Margarita and Tustin.
If the Sea Kings play Long Beach Wilson, it’d be a rematch Chaney said he would like. Long Beach Wilson beat CdM, 7-6, in a nonleague game on Dec. 4.
“We’ve been playing pretty well,” Chaney said. “We’ve been losing games by a goal here and a goal there. We just have to eliminate some pretty careless mistakes we make.”
Junior Heather Van Hiel, the team’s only returning starter from a year ago, leads CdM in scoring with 10 goals. Other key contributors include juniors Victoria Kennedy (eight goals) and Elise Molnar (seven goals).
The semifinals are Saturday at 10:40 a.m. and 11:45 a.m., at Newport Harbor. The championship game is Saturday at 4:05 p.m. at Newport Harbor.
MATT SZABO may be reached at (714) 966-4614 or by e-mail at email@example.com.