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Tournament Turns Into Royal Mess

What began as confusion escalated to chaos Monday on the second day of the Royal High girls’ soccer tournament, with Iolani High of Hawaii and La Reina each using semifinal forfeit victories to advance to today’s 4 p.m. championship game at Royal High.

Tournament director and Royal girls’ Coach Andy Silva said La Reina (7-1) was awarded a forfeit victory over Los Gatos (5-2) after Los Gatos used a player who had been ejected in its quarterfinal victory.

Iolani moved on to the final when Valencia Coach Dudley Hitchman pulled his team off the field while losing, 2-0, in the second half. Hitchman said he was protesting the presence of only one referee during the game’s first half and unsafe field conditions.

Silva, under fire from tournament participants during the event’s first two days for disorganization, said he is taking full responsibility.

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“This is the worst tournament I’ve ever tried to run and I feel badly for everyone involved,” said Silva, a former Simi Valley boys coach who said he has run more than 15 tournaments in 25 years of coaching.

Game locations, referee assignments and the scheduling of opponents were snarled from the tournament’s start Saturday morning, Silva admitted. Moorpark Coach Tom Humphries called the event “one big mess” and Hitchman said he will ask for the return of his team’s $300 entry fee.

“Teams never showed up to play, there was glass on the field [in the semifinal] and some games had no referees,” Hitchman said.

Silva said problems stemmed from his tournament and the Royal boys tournament being run simultaneously on eight fields at three Simi Valley sites.

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Additional headaches resulted when the tournament, which originally had 24 teams entered, kicked off with 18.

Silva said he will consider requests for refunds of the teams’ entry fees on a case-by-case basis.

At the Simi Valley tournament:

Camarillo 3, Chatsworth 0--The Scorpions (5-3) took a 1-0 lead on a Chatsworth own goal, then sealed the upset victory over the Chancellors (2-1-1) with goals by Bonnie Bornhauser and Kendra Shaner in a pool play game.

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BOYS

Royal 1, Westlake 0--Adin Waldrep’s second-half goal boosted the Highlanders (9-1) past the Warriors (5-3) and into today’s 5:30 p.m. Royal tournament title game against Alta Loma at Royal High.

Rio Mesa 3, Burroughs 3--Trailing, 3-0, at halftime, the Indians (5-4-1) got goals from Miguel Meneses, Brent Guido and Robbie Honicky before winning a shootout, 3-2, and prevailing in the runners-up bracket game.

David Cervantes scored his 12th and 13th goals and Jeff Evans also scored for Rio Mesa (6-2-1).

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