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LOS ALAMITOS : Soccer All-Stars Shine in Regional

South of Fresno, no boys or girls all-star soccer team in the 8- to 9-year-old age bracket is better than those from Los Alamitos.

At the Southern California sectional championship in Camarillo on March 13, the boys and girls teams emerged champions in a tournament that featured the best all-star selections from Santa Barbara, Ventura and Orange counties.

The boys team knocked out the Santa Barbara All-Stars 2-1 in the semifinals, then defeated another Orange County team, North Huntington Beach, 3-0 in the finals during the one-day tournament.

In a rare championship double win, the 8- to 9-year-old girls all-star team beat Pasadena 3-2 in a shootout after playing to a scoreless draw in regulation play. The girls team defeated Manhattan Beach 2-1 in the semifinals. The team finished the season with 12 victories in 13 games.

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“We played extremely good defense,” said coach Greg Werth, pointing out that his team allowed only two goals in its last seven games.

Dan Franchi, 37, the boys team coach for the past seven years, said his biggest challenge was giving his players enough playing time.

“The players were too good,” he said. “You take out two or three players, and we still had a strong team. But everybody wanted to play. The boys’ desire to win was unbelievable.”

He said his team was particularly good in offense. In nine tournament games, his team scored 39 goals, an average of more than four goals per game.

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