When it comes to high school soccer playoffs, most coaches agree it takes talent and some luck to make it to the finals.
Canyon and Santa Ana high schools had lady luck on their side last week. After first-round victories in the Southern Section 3-A boys' soccer playoffs, the teams won coin tosses to play at home at 3 p.m. today in second-round action.
Canyon, Santa Ana, top-seeded Mission Viejo and El Toro are the four Orange County teams to advance to the 3-A second round. Foothill and Dana Hills were eliminated in first-round action.
Canyon (16-3-5) plays host to Cerritos (18-6-2).
"(Coin tosses) can just wreak havoc with you," Canyon Coach Walt Bowman said. "As long as you win 'em, it's OK, but at some point in time, it makes the difference."
Canyon has excellent scoring balance. Junior left wing Fred Veloz leads the team with eight goals, and four of his teammates have scored seven goals.
Third-seeded Santa Ana (18-1-5) plays El Toro (12-6-3), the second-place team from the South Coast League, at Santa Ana Stadium.
Mission Viejo (22-3) travels to Bellflower to play St. John Bosco (16-5-2). If both Canyon and Mission Viejo win, they will face each other in the quarterfinals with the home site to be determined by a coin toss.
Of the seven county teams that started the 1-A playoffs, only Saddleback and Troy remain.
Both teams are on the road. Saddleback (11-6-3) travels to El Monte to meet Arroyo (12-5-1) at Mountain View High School.
Last season Saddleback defeated Arroyo, 2-0, in a 2-A first-round playoff match at Saddleback. The Roadrunners are led by freshman Jose Escudero with 16 goals.
Troy (12-3-3) travels to North (16-4-3) in Riverside. Paul McDonell is Troy's leading scorer with 17 goals.