League-champion SB girls open soccer playoffs at home

When it comes to turnarounds, the Santa Barbara High girls soccer team might have accomplished the most amazing 180-degree change in CIF Southern Section girls soccer this season.

The Dons went from not winning a match last year to taking the league championship and finishing the regular season with an 11-4-3 record.

Coach Jeff “JJ” Johnson’s squad earned itself a home game for the first round of the CIF Division 2 playoffs on Thursday. Santa Barbara will face Long Beach Millikan (7-5-2), the No. 3 team from the Moore League, at 5 p.m., at Peabody Stadium.

Santa Barbara dethroned 19-time league champion Buena.

San Marcos beat Buena on the last day of the regular season to finish second behind the Dons. The Royals (7-2-4) open Division 2 playoff action at Hart (10-6-6), the No. 2 team from the Foothill League.

“We had wonderful representation for Santa Barbara soccer in the Channel League,” said San Marcos coach Macie Berlin.

Dos Pueblos had an up-and-down league season, but the Chargers (13-4-6) twice knocked off Santa Barbara and played well outside of league to earn an at-large berth in the Division 2 playoffs. They play host to Simi Valley (5-2-6) from the Marmonte League in a Tuesday wild-card match at Scott O’Leary Stadium at 5 p.m. The winner travels to Mira Costa on Thursday.

First-year coach Tessa Binkley takes Bishop Diego into the Division 6 playoffs. The Cardinals (10-9-1) play at Katella (15-6-2) in a Division 6 first-round match Thursday.

In Division 7, Cate travels to Nuview Bridge.


All four local boys soccer teams that made the playoffs will open with home matches in the first round.

In Division 1, Santa Barbara (19-4-2), the runner-up in the Channel League, plays host to Fountain Valley (8-6-2), the No. 2 team from the Sunset League. Kickoff is 5 p.m. at Peabody Stadium.

Tri-Valley League co-champion Carpinteria (11-4-3) drew Santa Monica (9-10-2), the runner-up from the Ocean League in Division 4. They’ll kick it off at 5 p.m. at Carpinteria Valley Memorial Stadium

Cate, which won back-to-back Division 7 titles, makes its Division 6 playoff debut against Orcutt Academy at 3:30. The Rams are 12-2-2.

In Division 7, Bishop Diego (12-4-1), the Frontier League’s No. 2 team, plays host to Oakwood of the Heritage League at 3:15.