The Highland girls soccer team is headed back to familiar territory.
The second-seeded Scots earned a fourth straight trip to the Central Section Division III championship game with a 3-1 semifinal victory over No. 3 East on Wednesday night.
Payton Armijo had two goals and an assist and Danielle Vargas scored a goal for the three-time defending section champs, who split a pair of games with the Blades (22-4-1) during the regular season.
Highland (14-11-2) will travel to top-seeded Visalia-Central Valley Christian (20-1-2), a 1-0 overtime semifinal winner over No. 5 Liberty Madera Ranchos, in the D-III championship game on Friday.
"It's huge for us," Armijo said. "I think every year we get better."
The Cavaliers, who lost 2-1 to Highland in last year's semifinals, enter the title game riding a 20-game winning streak.
"It's just kind of crazy because every year we graduate quality players," Highland coach Tom Ferralli said. "...The credit goes to (the players). They work hard. We took our lumps at the beginning of the season with a strong schedule. I think they're here to finish it off."
Vargas, a four-year varsity starter, scored on a short header off a beautiful through ball from Armijo in game's eighth minute to give Scots the lead and the early momentum against East.
Armijo made it 2-0 early in the second half when her low bouncing shot slipped through the wet hands of East goal keeper Brooke McDonald.
Four minutes later the Blades Angel Valdez received a perfectly-placed pass from Emily Teutimez and then slotted the ball into the back corner of the net, trimming Highland's lead to 2-1.
But Armijo quickly responded with her team-leading 17th goal of the season to give the Scots breathing room.
"We're young," East coach Marty Martinez said. "We start a lot of freshman and sophomores. It wasn't our time. But I was proud of the kids because we battled. We never quit. And that's what we preach here."
Both of Armijo's goals were assisted by Paige Jano, one of four seniors in Highland's starting lineup.
"I'm just happy to have a great team," Vargas said. "We all work together hard and we accomplished it. I'm happy to go to another Valley championship game. It's really exciting."