Girls soccer: Anything but lonely at the top

Barry Faulkner

The girls soccer teams from Costa Mesa High and Corona del Mar

began the week with a share of the Pacific Coast League lead. And by the

time the week is over, Newport Harbor hopes to be able to say the same in

the Sea View League.

Coach Jason Sorrell's Sailors (9-6-3, 2-1-2) earned a 0-0 tie with

league-leading Aliso Niguel (14-3-2, 3-0-2) Thursday to drop the

Wolverines into a tie with Woodbridge (9-6-1, 3-1-2) for the league top

spot. League standings are determined on a point basis, with two points

for a win and one for a tie.

Since Aliso (Monday against Irvine) and Woodbridge (today at Laguna

Hills) only have one league game this week, a pair of Newport wins, today

at Irvine and Thursday against visiting Laguna Hills, could give the Tars

10 points.

If Woodbridge, Aliso and Newport all win their games, all three would

enter the final week with 10 points apiece. Newport, however, is the only

school among the three with a bye in the final week.

The Sailors, ranked No. 6 in CIF Southern Section Division II,

defeated Laguna Hills, 2-0, and tied Irvine, 0-0, in the first round of

league play. The Hawks and Vaqueros had yet to win a league game heading

into their Jan. 22 meeting, from which a score has not been reported.

In addition to strong offensive play by Amy Burlingham, Amy Ross, Tory

Manchester, Taryn Flamson and Lauren Birchfield, among others, Sorrell

reports sterling defensive work by freshman stopper Erin Hardy. Sorrell

considers Hardy an unsung standout whose contributions are often lost in

the spotlight directed toward scoring.

Meanwhile, in the PCL, Corona del Mar (10-4-5, 3-1-2) will try to bounce back from its first loss since in 24 PCL games -- a 1-0 setback

Thursday at Laguna Beach -- by hosting Estancia (3-15, 0-6) today, then

visiting University (8-7-1, 3-2-1) Thursday.

Coach Ron Evans' two-time defending PCL champions, ranked No. 2 in CIF

Division IV, tied Uni the first time around, 1-1.

Costa Mesa (10-4-3, 3-1-2), ranked No. 9 in Division IV, will try to

avenge its only league defeat this season when it visits Northwood today.

The Timberwolves (5-5-3, 3-2-1), tied with University for third, defeated

the Mustangs, 2-0, Jan. 10 at Mesa.

The Mustangs, who host Estancia Thursday, could be without junior

standout Devin Denman this week. Denman came out of Thursday's 2-1 win

over University early in the first half with a thigh bruise and Coach Dan

Johnston said afterward he was unclear how long she would be sidelined.

"She's a tough kid, so she'll be back as soon as she's able," Johnston

said.

Mesa junior Sharon Day scored both goals against the Trojans to take

the team scoring lead with 14. Senior Sarah Ronquillo and freshman Jenny

Sparks have 12 goals apiece.

Estancia has been outscored, 50-1, in six league contests, including a

12-0 rout by CdM the first round.

Sage Hill continues its first varsity campaign in the Academy League

with a road game today against Capistrano Valley Christian and a home

game Friday against Calvary Chapel of Downey.

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