Mission Viejo Defeats Weary Eagles


Santa Margarita goalkeeper Lauren Kent never saw the ball coming, but she saw it clearly when it came to rest in the back of the net. The goal gave second-ranked Mission Viejo a 1-0 nonleague victory over the top-ranked Eagles Friday at Mission Viejo.

Two minutes into the game, Mission Viejo’s Lindsey Huie sailed a throw-in directly in front of the net. The Eagle defense missed a chance to clear the ball, and junior Jen Thais popped in an easy wide-open shot.

“After we missed the kick, I had both teams in front of me, blocking my view,” Kent said. “I didn’t even see the ball until it hit the back of the net.”


The quick goal seemed to deflate the Eagles (4-2), who were coming off two tough road games this week--a loss at No. 3 Capistrano Valley on Tuesday and a victory at Los Alamitos Thursday. They fell back into a defensive posture and quit attacking the Diablo goal, getting outshot, 7-3, in the first half.

The Diablos (6-0) put together several scoring opportunities, but Kent came up with three key saves, keeping her team close.

The Eagles looked rejuvenated in the second half, pressuring Mission Viejo throughout the period and manufacturing a flurry of scoring opportunities in the final five minutes. But two saves by goalkeeper Nicole McCarty, a couple of whiffed kicks and two shots over the crossbar left the Eagles empty-handed.

“That was our toughest match yet,” Mission Viejo Coach Susie Daher said. “I feel lucky to have won with just one goal. [Santa Margarita] had a really tough week and they looked exhausted in the first half. But you have to give them credit, they came out in the second half and poured it on.”