Girls soccer: Sea Kings left spinning in mud

Tony Altobelli

NORTH HOLLYWOOD - Different nightmare, same cold sweat.

The Corona del Mar High girls soccer team's dream of a trip to the CIF

Southern Section Division IV final again sank in the mud as host

Harvard-Westlake stunned the top-seeded Sea Kings, 2-1, in sudden-death

overtime in Tuesday's semifinal.

"Without a doubt, this is the toughest loss I've ever dealt with, both

as a player and as a coach," CdM Coach Ron Evans said. "Our girls gave

everything they had, but we fell just short. Not to take anything away

from Harvard-Westlake, but I'd give anything to play them again under

dryer circumstances."

It was one year ago today that CdM suffered a 2-1 semifinal loss to

Chaminade, also on a field more suited for pigs, motocross and the 1967

Green Bay Packers than girls soccer.

"It's a definite disadvantage to us," Evans said. "We tried to work

through it, but with our style of offense, it's hard to generate anything

in slush. We were unbeaten the past 26 games on dry grass. I guess it was

just one of those things."

CdM (26-2-3) scored the game's first goal, ironically, thanks in part

to Mother Nature's fury. A Harvard-Westlake defender slipped in the slop,

allowing senior Molly O'Meara to control a cross-field pass and place a

shot into the upper-right corner l for a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute.

No. 4-seeded Harvard-Westlake (18-3-4) didn't take to long to respond.

The Wolverines streaked up the field and drew a free kick.

Harvard-Westlake standout Tracy Lansing deflected the ensuing shot into

the goal to tie the game less than a minute after CdM's tally.

That's where it stood some 80 minutes later before Lansing redirected

a corner kick into net five minutes into sudden death, leaving a majority

of Sea Kings' players in tears.

The loss, however, did not diminish the play of Sea Kings' goalie

Britta Vogele. The senior had 13 saves, including five of the game-saving

variety.

"She's absolutely amazing," Evans said. "You can't replace a player

like Britta, or any of our five seniors for that matter. Other people

will come in a play their spots, but it won't be the same."

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