Culver City picked its poison, and the Santa Monica girls soccer team provided a few other options anyway.

With senior Ariana Lomeli drawing the bulk of the attention from opposing defenders, the Vikings showed off the other talented players in their reliable scoring trio.

It took a collective effort, to be sure, but Samohi blanked the Centaurs 3-0 at home Wednesday afternoon to remain perfect in conference play.

Lomeli, junior Chloe Kleinman and sophomore Maggie Lena each logged a goal for Samohi, a fitting finish considering they’re responsible for all but four of the squad’s 25 goals to date.

And their skills are certainly going to come in handy. The Vikings, who reached the CIF Southern Section Division 4 quarterfinals last season, are vying for a repeat conference title after going 9-0-1 in league play a year ago.

“We want to open it up,” coach Jimmy Chapman said of his team’s offensive balance. “You play a team once, and you might be able to do a couple things. But the second time around, they’ll know what you’re doing and who to key on.

“That’s what good about Ari, Chloe and Maggie — they seem to be pretty even-keeled in high-pressure situations. They don’t get up too high or too low. They just keep playing.”

Samohi (6-6-2, 3-0 in the Ocean League), whose campaign continues Friday on the road against Beverly Hills, outscored its first three conference foes by a combined tally of 8-1.

But the Vikings learned during a tough preseason slate, which included a 4-0 loss to defending section champion South Torrance, that another run in the playoffs won’t be easy.

“We have to keep the same mindset we were in last year,” said Gabriella Dyrek, one of 12 seniors on the varsity roster. “We can’t underestimate the other (conference) teams even if we’re more talented or more skilled. That will help us get through league.”

Culver City (6-6-2, 0-3) was certainly no pushover, holding Samohi scoreless for about 60 minutes and putting a scare into the home team with a breakaway shot that rolled wide left early in the second half.

The Vikings, though, seemed determined to exact revenge against program that kept them from earning a perfect conference record last year.

In the 61st minute, after Lomeli was fouled in the box, Lena put Samohi ahead on a penalty kick to the bottom left corner of the net. Lena was filling in for Kleinman, who scored two penalty goals against Lawndale but who was not in the game at the time of the foul.

“Maggie stepped up,” Chapman said of the midfielder, who has recorded seven goals and six assists so far this season. “It speaks volumes. She’ll be an anchor of our team next year.”

Kleinman provided the insurance, giving the Vikings a 2-0 edge in the 76th minute on a shot from the right wing following a miscue by Centaurs goalkeeper Dezyier Jones. She now has a team-high eight goals.

“The keeper came out and missed, but Chloe had the wherewithal and kept her cool,” Chapman said.

Kleinman also assisted on the final goal of the game, a close-range strike by Lomeli in the 80th minute. It was a rewarding end to the afternoon for the senior, who was constantly under Culver City surveillance and visibly frustrated after a couple of her unsuccessful shots on goal.

“She needs to be a target but then facilitate and distribute and have the other girls step in,” Chapman said of Lomeli, who has six goals and six assists. “If we’re not aware and not getting other girls involved, then that’s no good.”

Sophomore goalkeeper Madeline Kresin took care of business at the net, racking up 15 saves in the Vikings’ third shutout victory of the year.

Samohi hopes it will look even better at full strength. Senior defender Janet Coleman-Belin is back in the mix after an anterior cruciate ligament injury, and senior midfielder Mikala Alatorre is recovering from foot and hamstring injuries.

Chapman said there’s room for improvement on the field as well, and he’s excited to seehow the rest of the regular season plays out.

“We’re not quite there yet,” he said. “It’s going to be a challenge, but we’re very capable if we put everything together.”

Contact Jeff Goodman by phone at 310-573-8351, via email at or on Twitter.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.