High School Roundup: Laguna still seeks improvement

Winning by a 5-0 score in boys' soccer might indicate that a team was working on all cylinders.

That final was the end result Wednesday for Laguna Beach, which defeated visiting Calvary Chapel at Guyer Field. The outcome pleased Breakers Coach Dan Richards, although his team's performance wasn't indicative of what it could ultimately achieve.

"Although the result on paper is good, we really didn't take our chances well enough today," Richards said. "We knew we had the ability to win the game comfortably and create a lot of goal scoring opportunities but didn't truly make it count."

"At times we did a good job moving the ball around and there was some nice link-up play which was good to see, however, the boys know they still could have done better and will need to raise their game for the upcoming matches. The players all know we have high expectations this year and don't want to settle for just 'good,' I believe we have a lot of talented players and they are fully aware of why we have set the bar so high."

Laguna took a 2-0 halftime lead on the Eagles and continued its scoring assault in the second half. Chris Tellez led the scoring with two goals and Grifan Fair, Jake Hexberg and Noah Radach, each scored once.

The victory, which marked the sixth time in 10 games that Laguna has posted a shutout, improved the Breakers' league record to 2-1 and overall mark to 7-1-2.

They entered the week ranked fifth in the CIF Southern Section Division 5 poll. They began the season unranked.

"Obviously we are still happy to get the win which was the most important thing, especially bouncing back after our first loss of the season against Estancia," Richards said.

Laguna was handed its first loss of the season on Jan. 11 when host Estancia scored a 1-0 victory over the Breakers. Goalie Bryce Williamson had 12 saves in the loss.

The Breakers play host to Godinez at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Guyer Field. They play at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday against Costa Mesa at Jim Scott Stadium at Estancia High.

"We know Godinez is an extremely strong team and has been playing great soccer all season long, as expected," Richards said. "They are always a very competitive program and will be a true test of the boys.

"Our home results have been very good this year and we have worked hard to make it a tough place to come and play for the opponents. This will easily be our strongest test so far at Guyer Field and we will need to be ready for it."


Girls' Soccer

The Breakers (0-2-1 in league) dropped a tough match at Guyer Field to visiting Calvary Chapel Tuesday, 2-1, in Orange Coast League play.

In its previous league outing on Jan. 10, Laguna played host Estancia to a scoreless game.

Laguna played Godinez Thursday, but the score wasn't available at press time. The Breakers play two league games next week beginning with a 5 p.m. clash Tuesday with Costa Mesa at Estancia High. On Thursday, they'll play host to Estancia at 5 p.m. at Guyer Field.


Girls' Water Polo

The Breakers, the sixth-ranked team in CIF Southern Section Division 1, cruised to another victory in Orange Coast League play Wednesday, when they defeated visiting Saddleback, 22-2.

Makenzie Fischer scored five goals and 12 other Breakers scored at least once. Macky Baldridge had six assists, Faith Hale scored once and had four steals, and Jenna Knott and Holly Parker combined for nine saves.

Laguna plays an important nonleague game Friday at Foothill. The Knights are tied this week with Santa Barbara for the No. 1 ranking in Division 1.

The Knights defeated the Breakers, 13-6, Jan. 11 at the Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions.

"Foothill is really good," Laguna Coach Ethan Damato said. "We will need to play better than the last time we played. With Foothill, you really have to slow down their counter and take away their early offense. We hope to play better two-meters and hope to be more prepared for the physical style."

Last week, the Breakers went north to take on Dos Pueblos in nonleague play, one day before they took part in the Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions. They started the three-day trip on Jan. 10 and scored a 9-6 win over Dos Pueblos, ranked seventh in Division 1. Lexi Del Toro scored four goals as the Breakers posted their second, 9-6 win this season over the Chargers.

The teams previously met on Dec. 29 at the Holiday Cup at Newport Harbor High.

Laguna took sixth place at the Tournament of Champions Saturday. The Breakers went 2-2 at the event. They defeated Mater Dei (No. 1, Division 2), 14-9, and El Toro (tied-No. 3, Division 2), 10-9. Their losses were to Foothill (13-6) and Corona del Mar (No. 4, Division 1), 10-6, the latter in the fifth-place game.

"I was very pleased with our improvement from the Holiday Cup and even our improvement over the last week," Damato said. "From the Dos Pueblos game to final game of the weekend, we improved as a team and got a chance to deal with some pretty tough situations. In some cases we found ways to win and in others learned what it will take to beat the top teams.

"I think we are getting closer and closer each day and I don't think anyone would be excited about playing us. In our Mater Dei win, the girls showed a ton of pride and came out fired up to make sure we were in the top eight of the tournament. The Tournament of Champions is such a high level tournament, I was really proud to be in the top eight again this year with all the best teams. I think we learned a lot as a group."

Laguna returns to OCL play Wednesday for a 3:15 p.m. game at Estancia. The Breakers again step away from league play on Jan. 25 to take on Newport Harbor, the third-ranked team in Division 1.


CIF Southern Section Weekly Rankings

Boys' basketball: Laguna Beach (No. 12, Division 4AA).

Girls' basketball: Laguna Beach (tied-No. 15, Division 4A).

Boys' Soccer: Laguna Beach (No. 5, Division 5).

Girls' water polo: Laguna Beach (No. 6, Division 1).


Twitter: @MikeSciacca

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World