THE PREPS : Empire League Soccer : Los Alamitos Climbs Into Tie for Second

Gregg Hartman scored a second-half goal to give Los Alamitos High School a 1-0 Empire League victory over El Dorado Friday at Los Alamitos.

The win lifted Los Alamitos (11-6-3, 3-2-1) into a tie with El Dorado (8-5-2, 3-2-1) and Cypress for second place in the league.

Hartman scored his goal 15 minutes into the second half when he threaded his way into the penalty area through a pack of El Dorado defenders and slammed his shot past goalkeeper Ken Scott.

"I thought Hartman's shot fooled the El Dorado goalkeeper," said Los Alamitos Coach Eric Schwandt. "It seemed like (Scott) was looking for the shot to go one way, and Hartman just fired it the other way."

El Dorado, which couldn't generate much offense for most of the game, had its best scoring chance just a minute before Hartman's goal on Matt Hill's free kick. But Los Alamitos goalkeeper Eric Lange made a diving save.

"That was an incredible save, but he's been doing those kind of saves throughout his three years as a starter here," Schwandt said. "Whenever we've needed a big save, he's been there to make it."

"It feels really fine to be right up there in the league, and I hope we can continue to get peak performances from our team."

Katella 2, Esperanza 1--At the 29-minute mark of the second half, Katella's David Hardy scored off a pass from Darren Vallejos to break a 1-1 tie. The first-place Knights are 10-1-6, 3-0-3. Al Flores scored on a penalty kick at the 20-minute mark of the first half to give Katella at 1-0 lead. John Gonzales tied the score 11 minutes later. Goalie Scott Bogardus made 10 saves for Katella, and Derek Sabori had five saves for Esperanza.

Cypress 2, Loara 1--David Ballinger and Don Bradshaw both scored goals for Cypress (2-1-3). Goalie Lee Melton made six saves.

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