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BOYS’ SOCCER / SEA VIEW LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Kerr’s Goals Spark Newport Harbor

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Newport Harbor left no doubt who has the best boys’ soccer team in Newport Beach with a 4-1 thumping of Corona del Mar Friday.

And Newport Harbor forward Justin Kerr left little doubt who has the town’s best player. Kerr, a junior who played the last two years in Edinburgh, Scotland, scored a hat trick in notching his 16th, 17th and 18th goals of the season in only 12 games.

“We knew this was the game that would make our season,” said Kerr, whose team has been dominated by Corona del Mar the last three years.

Newport Harbor improved to 13-4 overall and 1-1 in the Sea View League.

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Kerr scored his first goal 25 minutes into the game on a deflection off Sea King keeper Bryan Halley. He scored again 16 minutes into the second half off a feed from Jerome Bouchard. Kerr then saved his best for last when he scored on an acrobatic kick off a nice pass from Dom Frantantaro.

“I kicked that one off my thigh,” Kerr said. “You had to hit it with something and my thigh was there.”

In the second game of season, Kerr scored four goals against Estancia.

“It’s anticipation and instinct,” said Kerr, who missed five games with torn ligaments in his left ankle. “You have to think the ball’s going somewhere.”

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Corona del Mar Coach Ray Hales, who coached Jason Boyce, Newport Beach’s best player last season, was impressed with Kerr.

“He’s a great player,” Hales said. “This is the first time I’ve seen him close up.”

Hales was equally impressed with Kerr’s teammates.

“They finished and we didn’t,” Hales said. “They’ve got some very, very good finishers.”

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The Sea Kings (6-7-1, 0-2-1) had two chances to tie the score, 1-1, early in the second half, but they nearly fanned on both shots they had. Still, Hales was pleased with his team’s effort.

“We showed a lot of character,” he said. “I don’t mind losing when we play 100%.”

Newport Harbor Coach Colin Bouette said he is accustomed to being in Hales’ position.

“It’s been four years of humiliation,” said Bouette, who was a Corona del Mar assistant in 1992. “To finally come out on top and quite decisively is nice. Corona del Mar’s young and has plenty of years ahead of them. But it’s a changing of the guard now. For the next few years, we’ll be the team to beat.”

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In other league games:

Santa Margarita 4, El Toro 2--Brian Peisner, Seth George, Matt Blasdel and Shawn Saunders scored for the top-ranked Eagles (14-0-2, 1-0-1).

Woodbridge 1, Irvine 0--Michael Jacobs, off an assist by Chad Harris, scored the winning goal in the 84th minute for Woodbridge (10-5-1, 2-0). Irvine (4-5-1, 1-0-1) nearly tied the score in the last minute of the game, but goalkeeper Felipe Garlini made a diving save to seal the Warriors’ victory.

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