Thanks to some heads-up play, Foothill High became the first Orange County team to win the Southern Section 4-A boys' soccer championship when the Knights edged Culver City, 1-0, Saturday night at Gahr High School.
The biggest heads-up play came at the 65-minute mark of the 80-minute game when Foothill's Carrick Brewster headed in the only goal of the game.
That score came off of a corner kick by Kevin Kaufman. When the ball arrived in front of the net, Brewster outjumped a crowd of players and knocked the ball past the Culver City goalkeeper.
Such timely play has been the hallmark of this season's Foothill squad, which is coached by transplanted Englander Robin Winstone, who once played for Oxford United and Brentford.
"It shows you what hard work and endeavor will do," Winstone said. "You don't get anything for pretty midfield play--you win by sticking the ball in the net."
Foothill did that only once, but it was enough to give the second-place team in the Century League its first Southern Section boys' soccer title and raise its record to 16-4-5. Culver City finished at 22-2-1.
Before Brewster's goal, play had been spirited, with each team coming close to scoring on several occasions. The first half, while scoreless, did offer ample opportunity for both teams to take the lead.
Steve Barzalai of Culver City actually did put the ball in the net midway through the first half, but the referees disallowed the goal because the Centaurs had been offside on the play.
In the boys' 2-A final, Estancia of Costa Mesa scored twice in the last eight minutes for a 2-0 win over Troy. Forward Eric Kirsch broke a scoreless tie by kicking the ball into the net after it bounced off a Troy player, and three minutes later fullback Dave McKiernan got the second goal.
In the boys' 1-A final, Valley Christian of Cerritos beat Agoura, 2-0, to raise its record to 21-1-1. Agoura finished at 18-4.
In the girls' 3-A final, Michelle von Flotow's goal with four minutes to play in the first half gave La Quinta a 1-0 victory over Simi Valley (24-1-2), which was the top-seeded team in the division. La Quinta finished at 16-2-1.
In the girls' 2-A final, Ganesha and Montclair tied, 2-2, after two 10-minute overtime periods, and under Southern Section rules the two teams will share the title.