Marina girls’ soccer rallies to stun CdM, earn Wave League title

Marina's Sarah Sumrall (19) is mobbed by teammates after tying the game against Corona del Mar on Wednesday.
Marina’s Sarah Sumrall (19) is mobbed by teammates including Samantha Esparza, left, after tying the game against Corona del Mar on Wednesday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

A parent stood along the fence at the Marina High girls’ soccer match at Corona del Mar on Wednesday afternoon.

During a brief first-half stoppage he made a good-natured proposition to Marina junior forward Sarah Sumrall, offering her a dollar if she’d score a goal in the Wave League finale.

Sumrall, who had not scored a goal all season to that point, just smiled. But about an hour later, it was time to collect.

Her long shot in from near the left sideline tied the score in the 79th minute and Marina earned a dramatic 2-1 win on senior forward Abby Kirby’s golden goal penalty kick in overtime.

The victory gave Marina the outright Wave League title, its first league crown since 2020.

Marina celebrates defeating Corona del Mar in the final Wave League girls' soccer match on Wednesday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

“It’s so rewarding,” Vikings senior midfielder and team captain Kendall Crosby said. “Our goal from the start of the season was to go to CIF and win league. We put it all out on the field today. We didn’t finish what we wanted against Laguna, but we knew we had to bring it today.”

Marina, ranked No. 8 in CIF Southern Section Division 3, improved to 7-5-7 overall and finished league with a 4-1-1 record. Corona del Mar (14-6-1, 3-3), which could have won the league with a victory, finished second and also will advance to the Division 3 playoffs.

Fountain Valley beat Laguna Beach 2-1 in overtime, knocking the Breakers (2-2-2 in league) out of top-two contention.

The Sea Kings took the lead against Marina in the first half Wednesday, as senior defender Sarah Audiss headed in a corner kick off the foot of sophomore Isabella Thomas in the 34th minute.

CdM also controlled the majority of possession, but could not get an insurance goal against the Marina defense led by goalkeeper Taylee Vo and center backs Erika Torrez and Kiera Miskelly. The match got chippy in the second half as each team was awarded two yellow cards, but it still appeared the Sea Kings would hang on.

Corona del Mar's Sarah Audiss (21) celebrates with teammates after heading a ball for a goal against Marina on Wednesday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

That was until Sumrall’s blast from about 30 yards, off a throw-in from Riley Crosby, tied the score. The ball went toward the far corner and CdM junior goalkeeper Alex Boserup, who made five saves, was able to deflect the ball but not prevent it from crossing the line.

“It’s something that we’ve talked about all year, and she did it well,” Marina coach Heath Oberle said. “You just put the ball in a dangerous spot. The sun was in the keeper’s eyes right there, and the planets aligned for that one, right? She did a great job of just putting the ball in the mix and making it happen.”

A standout defensive play by CdM senior Emily Chanawatr near the end of regulation, clearing the ball off the back line on Courtney Hames’ shot, kept the score tied.

But three minutes into the second overtime period, the referee called a foul on Boserup in the box for tripping up Marina’s Mollie Miskelly during a scrum. Kirby put away the penalty kick, and the Vikings rushed the field.

CdM's Isabella Thomas (17) and Marina's Erika Torrez battle for possession during Wednesday's match.
CdM’s Isabella Thomas (17) and Marina’s Erika Torrez battle for possession during Wednesday’s match.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

“You battle and it creates good things,” Oberle said. “That call, one day it might not get called, one day it does get called. It was on our side this time. She just scrapped and battled and was causing havoc, which is what we want to do on offense.”

CdM coach Bryan Middleton was less enthused with the call. He saw his team lose 1-0 in overtime to Marina for the second time in league. In the teams’ first meeting, CdM was called for a hand ball in the box that Middleton said he also disagreed with.

“Anyone who’s watched soccer games and watched that game today saw that we dominated probably 60 to 70% of the game,” Middleton said. “A referee can manipulate the outcome of the game … My hat’s off to Marina for working hard and getting the goal at the end of the game, and obviously they played well against other teams in our league. But it’s just unfortunate.”

Marina's Abby Kirby (18) and CdM's Sarah Audiss contest a corner kick during Wednesday's Wave League match.
Marina’s Abby Kirby (18) and CdM’s Sarah Audiss contest a corner kick during Wednesday’s Wave League match.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Sumrall said the Marina parent gave her a ClassDojo dollar after the match.

“It feels really good,” Sumrall said of the win. “I really needed that to boost my confidence, for sure, on the field. We played so well throughout the season, and I feel like we earned this.”

The CIF girls’ soccer brackets will be released Saturday at 10 a.m.


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