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Orange County Soccer Club extends unbeaten streak

Orange County Soccer Club midfielder Chris Wehan, center, plays against Sacramento Republic FC  on May 22.
Orange County Soccer Club midfielder Chris Wehan, center, plays against Sacramento Republic FC during the home opener at Championship Soccer Stadium in Irvine on May 22.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

The Orange County Soccer Club played to a scoreless draw against the Tacoma Defiance on Tuesday night at Championship Soccer Stadium at the Great Park in Irvine.

Orange County extended its unbeaten streak to seven games (4-0-3).

O.C. (5-2-3 overall, 18 points) is tied with the San Diego Loyal (5-4-3, 18 points) for second place in the Pacific Division standings in the United Soccer League Championship. San Diego has played two more matches.

Phoenix Rising FC (7-2-1, 22 points) sits atop the division, four points clear of the competition through Tuesday’s action.

Against Tacoma, Orange County took 13 shots, but only two were on target. Goalkeeper Abraham Romero was asked to make one save to secure the point, recording his third shutout of the season.

“I think our defense was solid again tonight, which has obviously gotten us in the streak,” Orange County coach Braeden Cloutier said in a postgame news conference. “I think the opportunities were there tonight to win the game.”

Midfielder Francis Jacobs, a Laguna Beach resident, made his season debut, coming on as a substitute in the 73rd minute. Jacobs, 16, made his professional debut with the club against the Las Vegas Lights on Sept. 19 last year.

“This was my first real game at home in this stadium,” said Jacobs, who completed 78.6% of his passes in the contest. “It felt great and I am hoping to build from here.”

Up next, Orange County will go on the road to face Sacramento Republic FC (2-5-2, eight points) on Saturday at 8 p.m.

Orange County has won both prior meetings, including a 1-0 win on a goal by Chris Wehan in the home opener.

Orange County Soccer Club honored its girls’ academy team at halftime. A team comprising players from around the county went undefeated across four games to win the Elite U17 girls’ division of the United Soccer League Academy Cup Tournament in May in Tampa, Fla.

The Orange County girls’ academy team outscored its competition 16-4 and beat Tampa Bay United 3-2 in the final. Grace Thao, a rising junior at Santa Margarita High School, won the Golden Boot for the tournament with four goals and one assist. Rebecca Giat of Woodbridge had two goals and two assists.

Riley Crooks, who will be entering her freshman year at Edison, assisted on a goal by Amy Ollendorf in a 2-1 win over the SC United Bantams in group play.

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