CORONA DEL MAR — There was no scoreboard for the Battle of the Bay in girls' soccer at Corona del Mar High. Seventy minutes into the match against Newport Harbor, fans asked for the score.
They just had to look at Newport Harbor goalkeeper Emily Brown's jersey to find out. The junior wore double zero and she played a major role in keeping the match scoreless at that point.
Both offenses were as cold as the conditions Tuesday.
Then in the final 10 minutes, CdM heated up offensively. The Sea Kings scored three goals to win, 3-1, and avenge last season's loss to Newport Harbor.
"It took us about 80 minutes before we actually woke up for this soccer game," said Coach Bryan Middleton, whose Sea Kings appeared headed for their third straight scoreless tie. "I don't know if it was just the jitters of the Battle of the Bay, or a letdown from how well we played at the [Butch Lee Memorial Classic in San Diego last week, when we tied Santa Margarita, which is ranked No. 3 in the country by ESPN RISE].
"We played nowhere near as well as we did at the tournament."
The Sea Kings' effort was good enough to prevent the Sailors from claiming the rivalry match for the second straight season.
CdM remained unbeaten, improving to 3-0-2. Newport Harbor (1-4-1) had a chance to settle for a tie against the No. 9-ranked team in the state with four minutes left.
The Sailors went after their second victory of the season. The move backfired.
After Newport Harbor's Megan Khademi tied the match at 1-1 in the 76th minute, the Sea Kings took advantage of a side pushing forward. Annie Alvarado, who scored on a left-footed beauty in the 71st minute, quickly created another CdM scoring opportunity.
The sophomore dribbled into the box from the left side and was on her way to a one-on-one situation with Brown. A nearby defender took Alvarado down in the box, giving the Sea Kings a penalty kick.
From the sideline, Middleton yelled, "Who's taking it?" A hesitant Allyson Brahs lined up for the short-ranged shot.
"At first, I was like, 'Uh, I don't know if I can do this,' " Brahs said. "Then I was just visualizing it. I was like, 'I just have to visualize it going in and then I can do it.' "
The mind is powerful, so is Brahs' shot.
The junior delivered the game-winner for the Sea Kings in the 78th minute. Brahs blasted the ball toward the left of Brown, who stood no chance at getting to the ball.
Emily Krebs added a goal in the waning seconds for CdM. What was a tie was now a two-goal victory for the Sea Kings.
"Realistically, I blew it at the end because we had a 1-1 game and I went for the result," Newport Harbor Coach Larry Draluck said. "I was going to try and put an extra fullback back in [after we tied the match].
"As a coach, sometimes you have to take the blame. I didn't make the right change at the end. I should have put somebody back in. I was considering it. I had the girl right there. But I didn't do it and then we gave up the PK."