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Rosary Girls’ Soccer Has Cloud Over Its Head

TIMES STAFF WRITER

January rains played havoc with soccer schedules, but few teams have been washed out as often as Rosary’s. The Royals play home games at Cal State Fullerton; because university officials are protective of the field, play isn’t allowed under wet conditions.

“Even if it should lightly sprinkle the day of the game,” Rosary Coach Heather McNatt said, “the game gets called off.”

So, Rosary hasn’t played a home game this month; at the Golden West League’s midpoint, according to the calendar, the Royals are 7-1-1, 2-0.

Today’s scheduled makeup with Santa Ana also is threatened, but McNatt is certain her team will play Thursday at Ocean View.

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“We played over there the past two years in the pouring rain,” McNatt said. “So I know we’ll play them Thursday.”

If so, the Royals’ strong defense, led by sweeper Patricia Meinburg and goalkeeper Robyn Leonhardt, finally will get tested by the league’s best offense. Ocean View (13-1-2, 4-0 and ranked eighth) is led by Kimberly Engesser, who has 24 goals and 12 assists.

Ocean View and Rosary were scheduled to open league play against each other Jan. 5 at Cal State Fullerton. . . . but were rained out.

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Marina’s 20-game winning streak in girls’ soccer was ended last week when the top-ranked Vikings lost Kristen Palmer, who shares the team lead in scoring, for the Sunset League game against unranked Esperanza. Palmer was kept from playing by a referee who determined the knee brace she wears is dangerous to other players. Palmer, a senior, has been wearing the brace in games and practices since she was 14.

“It’s like getting a red card before the game starts,” Marina Coach Bobby Bruch said. “It took us until the second half to come out of it.”

Marina recovered to tie the score, 1-1, in the second half. Still, the winning streak was over.

Later in the week, Marina (10-0-1, 2-0-1) beat then second-place Edison, 5-0, to extend its unbeaten string to 49 games.

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Mater Dei retired Tony Pena’s football jersey No. 84 Saturday before the Monarchs-Capistrano Valley basketball game. Pena, an all-county football and baseball player at Mater Dei, played baseball at Arizona State, then switched to football, playing at Rancho Santiago and later Oklahoma.

A two-time all-county pitcher, he went 24-4 over three seasons. In football, he caught 77 passes his senior season; he had 117 receptions during his career.

He coached Mater Dei’s freshman team in 1992 and ’93, and is currently in the L.A. Police Academy.

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Mater Dei will lose all-county receiver Rod Perry Jr., whose father was hired by the Houston Oilers as an assistant. The family will move to Houston.

“We will sorely miss Rod, but it’s a family situation and I totally agree,” Mater Dei Coach Bruce Rollinson said. “They want Rod to be there for his younger brother.”

Perry, a sophomore, had 59 receptions for 1,191 yards and scored 16 touchdowns this season, helping the Monarchs to the Southern Section Division I title.

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Staff writer Chris Foster contributed to this story.


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