HUNTINGTON BEACH – Bill Rolfing sees his Laguna Beach High girls' soccer team as heading in the right direction.
At the very least, the Breakers are finding their groove.
Laguna went to Ocean View Thursday and pretty much controlled the nonleague match starting from the midway point of the first half. Getting a single goal in each half, the Breakers scored a 2-0 shutout victory over a Seahawks team that had been enjoying a successful nonleague season.
Thursday's match was the fourth in the last 10 days for the Breakers, who went 2-0-1 last week during the program's annual winter break trip to the Palm Desert area.
Ocean View had been idle for the past two weeks.
"I think we have found ourselves on the field a little bit better," Rolfing said. "We had played a tough preseason schedule against teams like Huntington Beach, Tesoro, University and tonight, against a good Ocean View team. I told the girls at halftime that they were leading a team that had been playing very well during the preseason."
The Breakers took their 1-0 halftime lead on a goal by senior midfielder Marina Paul, who scored off a corner kick from senior forward April Carlson. At roughly the 10-minute mark of the second half, they extended the lead to 2-0 on a goal by Janie Crawford. The freshman midfielder finished a left-footed cross that sophomore defender Emma Barker had sent to the far post.
Ocean View looked as though it would score minutes after Crawford's goal when junior midfielder Danny Dapello launched a shot from about 15 yards out. The ball, however, glanced off the left-side frame of the goal, bounced away and went out of bounds. The Breakers had several shots on goal the remainder of the game including three by Paul, who had two shots sail wide right and another stopped by Seahawks goalie Malia Hayes. The freshman finished with 14 saves.
Laguna played the match without its starting goalie, freshman Kylie George. Yasmin Asghari was called up from the junior varsity team to fill in for George and didn't miss a beat in the cage. The junior recorded four saves.
"I thought she did a really great job filling in for Kyle," Rolfing said of Asghari, who drew a round of applause in the team huddle following the game. "Tonight we showed how well we can play together and I attribute this win to great team work. Our game is a passing game - we rely on it, and I thought we did a nice job in that regard. One area of our game that we're working on, is finishing a game. That's definitely something we have addressed and it's something we'll need to do in league play."
The Orange Coast League season begins Tuesday at home for Laguna. The Breakers play host to Estancia at 6:15 p.m. at Guyer Field.
"We're excited for the start of league," Rolfing said. "We're starting off with a strong opponent [Estancia] and every game, even every minute, counts in league. Every team is looking to secure a [CIF] playoff berth. We'll use this game tonight as a springboard to league, to help us build our confidence. It was a nice win for the girls."