BOYS’ SOCCER / SEA VIEW LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Woodbridge Shocks No. 1 Santa Margarita
Woodbridge struck so quickly, it appeared the Santa Margarita Eagles didn’t know what hit them Friday at Santa Margarita High.
Within seconds, the top-ranked Eagles lost their shutout and their lead. And before they knew it, they lost the game, 3-2, their undefeated season and finally, their hold on first place in the Sea View League.
Afterward, Santa Margarita midfielder Matt Blasdel said he saw it coming.
“This had to happen,” said a teary-eyed Blasdel, who scored both Eagle goals on headers off perfect corner kicks from Brian Piesner. “We’ve been playing progressively worse for five games. From now on, maybe our practices will have some intensity.”
The intensity never seemed to be there for Santa Margarita (17-1-2, 4-1-1), even when it led, 1-0. When No. 8 Woodbridge (13-5-1, 5-0-1) finally broke through on a penalty kick by Gustav Gratzer with 17 minutes 45 seconds remaining in the second half, Santa Margarita really let its guard down. Gratzer scored again only 75 seconds later on a feed from Mike Bartholemew.
With three minutes remaining, Gratzer took advantage of a sloppy Santa Margarita pass and fed Mike Jacobs to put Woodbridge up 3-1. Woodbridge Coach Jon Szczuka said the key was staying within range of the Eagles.
“They don’t know how to respond when a team stays with them,” said Szczuka, whose team tied the Eagles in their first meeting. “As soon as we scored, I think they knew we were going to keep going at them. I think they were thrown into shock.”
Szczuka said quite a few people are probably shocked that his team has gone 12 consecutive games without a loss and that the Warriors are first in the Sea View League.
“We were unranked at the beginning of the season and the kids felt they had something to prove,” Szczuka said. “And they’re proving it now. (Santa Margarita) is probably the best team in the state now. Right now, we’re playing at their level.”
In another Sea View League game:
Newport Harbor 1, Irvine 1--Brian Teter scored with 10 minutes remaining to earn a tie for Irvine (6-7-2, 2-3-1). Justin Kerr scored on a direct kick for Newport Harbor (13-6-2, 1-4-1).