Mater Dei Tournament Has Elite Field


Five of the county’s top 10 teams will help Mater Dei get its first girls’ soccer tournament off the ground this week in a three-day event at Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley.

Monarch Coach Austin Sharp and tournament director Dick DeBeikes have been planning the tournament for nearly two years, building what they hope will be one of Southern California’s elite girls’ soccer events.

The 12-team field includes some of the county’s best: No. 1 Capistrano Valley, No. 4 Esperanza, No. 5 Mission Viejo, No. 6 Aliso Niguel and No. 8 Mater Dei. Huntington Beach, Foothill and Mater Dei’s junior varsity are the additional county teams, which will be joined by Arcadia, Palos Verdes Peninsula, Lakewood St. Joseph and Long Beach Wilson.


“This has been a dream of Austin’s for a long time,” said DeBeikes, a parent volunteer. “We hope to build it into a 16-team tournament of champions and division winners. The intent is to keep a small field of teams and play some great soccer.”

However, the tournament does have some first-year glitches to be worked out.

Broken into three pools, the teams earn points based on victories, shutouts and goals scored. The top point-scorers from two of the pools will advance to the championship game. This automatically drops the winner of the third pool into the third-place game.

In this year’s tournament, one pool will feature Capistrano Valley, Aliso Viejo, Mater Dei and Huntington Beach beating up on each other, while in another, Esperanza should stroll past Foothill, Peninsula and St. Joseph. In the third pool, Mission Viejo will likely blow past Long Beach Wilson, Arcadia and Mater Dei’s JV.

“We’ve already made some changes in how the tournament works,” DeBeikes said. “Obviously, since it’s our first year, we’ll figure out things that should be done differently next year.”

Capistrano Valley opens the tournament Thursday at 3:30 p.m. against Huntington Beach. On Friday, the Cougars play Mater Dei at 5:30 p.m. and on Saturday, Aliso Niguel at 8:30 a.m.

Other feature games will be Mater Dei against Aliso Niguel at 5:30 on Thursday, and Esperanza against Peninsula at 5:30 on Friday.



Many coaches recently voiced concern over the California Youth Soccer Assn’s planned Olympic Development Program (ODP) orientation this Saturday, which forces many players to choose between attending or playing in high school tournaments.

Attempting to quell concerns, the ODP sent a letter last Tuesday to all participants. In the letter Steve Sampson, technical director of CYSA South, informed players that high school soccer takes priority Monday through Saturday and players “will not jeopardize their position with CYSA South ODP if a conflict does arise.”

Sampson acknowledges that more conflicts may arise Jan. 28-30 and Feb. 17-20, when the Regional and National Championships take place. However, after meetings between ODP and CIF state officials, high school teams involved in the playoffs will be encouraged to change the dates of their games to allow participation in both.

“They are working very hard not to interfere with kids and their school programs,” said Karen Hellyer, Southern Section assistant commissioner.

Similar conflicts in the Northern Section caused CYSA to cancel all events until March.


If you have an item or idea for the girls’ soccer report, you can fax us at (714) 966-5663 or e-mail us at