A tough five-match stretch last week saw the Laguna Beach girls’ soccer team win two matches over a five-day period.
The Breakers concluded the week by winning one of three matches at the Irvine Girls Varsity Tournament that began Dec. 14 and concluded Monday.
On Dec. 14, they fell 5-0 to Brea Olinda. On Saturday, they blanked host Irvine, 3-0 but lost, 3-1 to Fountain Valley later that day.
Laguna rested several players in anticipation of Saturday’s doubleheader and dropped a first-round match to Brea. Goalie Lura Hills had nine saves in the match and had “many spectacular plays off her line to stop the Brea-Olinda attack,” Laguna Coach Bill Rolfing said.
Saturday morning, Laguna roared from the start and went on to hand host Irvine a 3-0 shutout. Rolfing said that the Breakers dominated with crisp passing and control of the midfield.
Laguna’s first score came from Nikki Clark who blasted a shot into the upper-right corner form 20 yards out. Laura Renault threaded a sharp pass to Clark to record the assist. Later in the first half, Jackie Csira scored off a penetrating pass by Courtney Capobianco.
The final goal was scored in the second half when veteran midfielder Kayley Rees, whom Rolfing said “positioned herself superbly for a hardworking cross” from Capobianco, found the net.
Any Irvine attempt at a second-half comeback was denied by the Breakers as Ashley Eaton and Shelby Serra stepped in to aid the defense and midfield play.
Angela Lozano made her debut in goal and preserved the shutout.
Saturday night, Laguna needed a win over Fountain Valley to advance to the final round of the tournament.
The Breakers controlled the action early with Claire Rubel, Riley Westgaard, Tasha Cherpas and Maddy Arterburn strengthening the defensive line, as the Breakers attacked down the wings. But Fountain Valley was the first on the scoreboard as the Barons converted a goal off a quick throw-in play that surprised the Breakers defense.
Laguna scored the equalizer five minutes later.
Capobianco took a long feed from Brianna Lacy and worked the ball to 25 yards out in from the Fountain Valley net. She launched a long, curving shot that found the left inside of the goal.
“Best shot of the season for the Breakers so far,” Rolfing said.
Fountain Valley scored the final two goals to come away with a 2-1 win.
Fountain Valley’s win over the Breakers allowed Irvine, a team Laguna had defeated, to advance to the final round.
Prior to the tournament, Laguna dropped a 3-0 home nonleague match to University on Dec. 11 but came back on Dec. 13 to defeat host Sage Hill, 1-0.
Laguna outshot Sage Hill by a whopping 20-2 margin yet settled for a 1-0 victory. The lone goal was a result on a forced “own goal,” Rolfing said, from Renault and Capobianco. Sophomore Alex Degarmo had seven shots on goal.
Sophomore Kelsey Peterson gave a strong performance at stopper and goalies Hills and Lozano each had a save to share the shutout.
Laguna, 4-3-1 on the season after a 1-1 tie against Pacifica on Tuesday, will host Ocean View at 4:45 p.m. today in nonleague play. The game also will serve as reunion for former players from the girls’ soccer program. The get-together begins at 4:15 p.m., Rolfing said.
The varsity alumni game will be played at 11 a.m. Jan. 2 at the school.
During the winter break, Laguna will compete at the Palm Desert Winter Classic. The tournament begins Thursday and concludes Dec. 29.