LA CA?ADA – Only a half game separated the top three teams in the Rio Hondo League girls soccer standings, but La Ca?ada High School took a big step forward on Tuesday. The Spartans entered the afternoon tied with Monrovia, and South Pasadena trailed only a half-game behind. Not only can Monrovia clinch a tie for the league title with a victory, but since the two teams tied 1-1 in their first meeting, the Wildcats can earn the RHL’s head-to-head tiebreaker with a win, and the league’s top seed for the CIF-SS Division IV playoffs. The Spartans are also still fuming about blowing a 1-0 lead in the final seconds and having to settle for a 1-1 tie in their first meeting at Monrovia. “We’re glad we clinched the title, but playing for the No. 1 seed will give us all the motivation we need,” Bilowitz said. “We’re still angry about giving up a late goal the first time. If we don’t give up that goal in the final 20 seconds, we would have clinched the title outright already.” Millie Beebe and Rachel Ragusa both scored for the Spartans, and that pair had plenty of help from their teammates. Spartans defender Jenelle Rotenberg floated a 30-yard free kick that left Beebe free and clear after beating an offside trap, and she finished nicely for a 1-0 lead in the 25th minute. Early in the second half, the always-dangerous Nancy Avesyan slipped a pass to Beebe, who had another free run at Tigers goalkeeper Taylor Thurman. This time, Thurman was able to toe-poke Beebe’s shot to her left, but Ragusa was there for an easy put-back and 2-0 lead in the 47th minute. “I was happy with the goals because both were a nice piece of work,” Bilowitz said. “But for the most part, I thought we could have played better. “We were sending too many long balls and that’s not our game, we like to keep it on the ground. But you have to give South Pasadena a lot of credit for that, because they were physical and took us out of our game.” Even with the loss, South Pasadena (9-8-6, 5-2-2, 12 points) can do no worse than third place with a win in its finale on Thursday against Temple City. email@example.com (626) 962-8811, Ext. 4485 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! But the Spartans clinched at least a tie for the league title with a convincing 2-0 victory over visiting South Pasadena, while San Marino upset Monrovia, 1-0. While Spartans (12-4-3, 6-0-3, 15 points) coach Louie Bilowitz felt good about how everything unfolded, he cautioned that Thursday’s finale against Monrovia (10-5-3, 5-1-3, 13 points) is ultimately for the outright league title.