Soccer coaches in the boys' 2-A Division predicted that there would be some upsets in the playoffs, and last Friday, that forecast came true, with seeded teams vanishing early and wild cards prevailing in the opening round.
The upsets were not really that surprising. The 2-A is the most crowded division in the playoffs with 42 teams. Ten of those were eliminated in wild-card matches last Wednesday. The 32 teams that started the first round were well-matched.
Laguna Beach, seeded third in the 2-A, was one of the few favored teams that survived. The Artists (18-4-2) defeated Norwalk, 2-1, and will play host to Newport Harbor (13-5-4) today at 3. Newport Harbor, which finished second in the Sea View League, eliminated La Habra, 2-0.
Laguna Beach and top-seeded Central (20-1), which will travel to Victor Valley, were the only seeded teams to advance. Wild-card entry Brea-Olinda (10-5-7) shocked Kennedy, seeded second, 1-0, and will play host to Keppel (16-1-3) today. Another wild-card team, Pacifica (10-6-4), knocked out La Mirada, seeded fourth, 2-1, and will play host to Baldwin Park today.
Wild-card entry Bolsa Grande (12-6-1) ousted Freeway League champion Troy and today will play host to another stubborn wild-card team, Sunny Hills (17-7-3), which defeated favored Orange. And wild-card entry Laguna Hills (15-7-2), which knocked off Orange League champion Valencia, will play host today to La Salle. (13-2-7).
In addition to Laguna Beach and Newport Harbor, another favored county team avoided an upset. Sea View League champion Saddleback (15-6-2) defeated Arroyo, 2-0, and will play host to La Canada (11-2-6) today.
In the 3-A Division:
The second-round match of the day is between favored Mission Viejo and dark-horse Katella . The match will be played at Mission Viejo at 5 today, followed by the Mission Viejo girls' team against Corona del Mar.
Mission Viejo (16-4-4), the South Coast League champion and the fourth-seeded team in the 3-A, defeated Chino last week, 2-0, scoring both goals in the first half. The Diablos' Jeff Jurgemeyer, who missed much of league play with a separated shoulder, scored the first goal.
Katella defeated Miraleste last week, 2-0, with two second-half goals. The Knights are rebounding from the controversy and disappointment of last year, when they did not reach the playoffs and their season was suspended because of disruptive behavior. Katella has rung up a 13-2-7 record en route to the Empire League championship under the guidance of its first-year coach, Ray Smith.
Only one other Orange County team remains in the 3-A playoffs. Capistrano Valley (15-6-6), the second-place team in the South Coast League, defeated El Dorado, 2-1, and will travel to Righetti today. Righetti (14-6-1) defeated Bell Gardens, seeded third, 2-1, on penalty kicks.
In the 1-A Division:
Two Orange County teams advanced to the second round. Orange Lutheran (11-5-3), the Olympic League's at-large team, which defeated La Sierra, 2-1, in the first round, will play host today to Western Christian (18-4-1).
Capistrano Valley Christian (11-5-3), which defeated St. Anthony, 2-0, in the opening round, will play host to Cabrillo (16-6-3), which dominated Crossroads, 5-0, today at Rancho Capistrano at 3 p.m.