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CIF Southern Section releases soccer playoff pairings

Edison's Kevin Blanco, right, and Ozzy Moran congratulate Trent Bellinger after he scored a goal against Fountain Valley.
Edison’s Kevin Blanco, right, and Ozzy Moran congratulate Trent Bellinger after he scored a goal against Fountain Valley during a Surf League boys’ soccer match on Wednesday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

In the scope of what was an uncertain season at best with the coronavirus pandemic looming over high school sports this school year, a great victory was achieved with the completion of the boys’ and girls’ soccer seasons.

Resulting from that, the CIF Southern Section released its first playoff brackets of the 2020-21 school year on Saturday morning.

Seven local boys’ soccer teams qualified for the postseason, with the group containing a pair of league champions set to compete in the top division.

Edison (11-4-1), the Surf League champion, will host Mater Dei (8-5-1), an at-large selection from the Trinity League, in the first round on Thursday. The Chargers earned a share of a fifth consecutive league title with a 2-0 win at Fountain Valley.

Newport Harbor (10-4-2) won the Wave League title by securing a 1-0 result at Huntington Beach in the season finale. The Sailors draw Long Beach Millikan (10-4-2, Moore League No. 2) at home, with top-seed Los Angeles Cathedral, the Del Rey League champion, awaiting the winner.

A playoff rematch between two local teams is featured in the first round of the Division 2 bracket, as Huntington Beach (11-2-2, Wave League No. 2) again will host Estancia (7-5-4, Orange Coast League No. 2). The Eagles beat the Oilers 4-0 in a first-round matchup in 2019.

Laguna Beach (7-7-2, Wave League at-large) also qualified for the Division 2 playoffs and will travel to face Sea View League champion Aliso Niguel (8-0-1).

Los Amigos (8-1-1, Garden Grove League No. 2) avoids a long road trip, as it will be at home against Westlake Village Oaks Christian (5-5-3, Marmonte League No. 2) to start the Division 3 playoffs.

Rounding out the boys’ soccer postseason qualifiers for the area is Sage Hill (7-1-3, San Joaquin League No. 2) in Division 6. The Lightning will have to travel to Palmdale Aerospace Academy (6-1), a co-champion of the Heritage League.

There were six local girls’ soccer teams featured in the section’s divisional playoff brackets, again with a total of two league champions from the area.

Wave League champion Newport Harbor (9-2-4) opens at home against Newhall Hart (5-3-2, Foothill League No. 3) in the first round of the Division 1 bracket on Wednesday.

Also in Division 1 is Huntington Beach (7-9-1, Surf League No. 2), which lines up across from Long Beach Poly (8-1-1, Moore League No. 2) in a road tilt. The winner of the match will have to face No. 2-seeded Mater Dei.

Laguna Beach (6-4, Wave League No. 2) travels to take on Hacienda League champion West Covina South Hills (10-2-1) in the first round of the Division 2 draw.

Two local teams, Costa Mesa and Ocean View, will make appearances in the Division 4 playoffs. The Orange Coast League-champion Mustangs (7-4-5) go up against Calabasas Viewpoint (Gold Coast League No. 2) in their playoff opener at home.

The Seahawks (9-4-2, Golden West League No. 2) play host to Rowland (8-3, Hacienda League No. 2).

Sage Hill will be at home to open the Division 5 playoffs, as the Lightning (8-3-2, San Joaquin League No. 2) take on San Bernardino Indian Springs (2-3, Mountain Valley League No. 2).

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