Soccer Roundup: Laguna girls advance, boys eliminated

An impressive home win, and a tough road loss. Those were the two results for the Laguna Beach High girls' and boys' soccer teams in CIF Southern Section wild-card game action this week.

The Laguna girls are moving on in the Division 4 playoffs, thanks to a big showing against Cerritos, while the boys' team saw their season come to an end in Diamond Bar.


Girls' Soccer

The Breakers, the third-place team from the Orange Coast League, rolled Tuesday to a 5-0 victory over Cerritos in a Division 4 wild-card game at Guyer Field. The win propelled the Breakers into a second-round game Thursday at Ocean League champion Culver City. The score from Thursday's game wasn't available at press time.

The winner of the Laguna-Culver City match moves on to the second round on Tuesday.

Laguna took a 2-0 lead at the half in improving to 8-7-7 overall.

The Breakers increased their unbeaten streak to eight matches.

"Impressive effort by the girls," Laguna Coach Bill Rolfing said. "The offense 'broke out' and delivered with some spectacular finishes. The passing game was on and we were able to maintain possession in the 80% range.

"Each girl contributed and there were fine performances from Lola Cowie, Danielle Gromet, Katyn Ott, Maddy Kristensen, Tatum Moore, Hannah Budroe and Senna Thomas."

Goalie Kylie George registered her fourth consecutive shutout. Janie Crawford scored twice and Kristensen, Gromet and Summer Stanaland also scored. Getting assists were Chiara Noppenberger, Audrey Pillsbury and Katelyn Carballo.

Rolfing said the Hewlett sisters, Sarah and Amy, along with Tessa Hopper, "played tenacious defense," and added that Emma Barker and "standout Johana Abarca secured the ball possession in midfield."

"At this point of the campaign, confidence and momentum are key aspects," he said. "Technically, the passing game is working well and penetrating into defenses. However, with stronger competition our own defense will be called to task. I think we are ready for it."


Boys' Soccer

The Breakers were eliminated from postseason competition Wednesday at Diamond Bar, where they were edged, 2-1, by the host Brahmas in a Division 5 wild-card game.

Reece Barton scored for Laguna, which was an at-large entry to the playoffs.

Diamond Bar (15-6-2) is the third-place team from the Hacienda League.

"It was always going to be tough to go on the road and play in Diamond Bar," Laguna Coach Dan Richards said. "We didn't know too much about the opponent going into the game, but their league and overall record showed they are having a very good season.

"The boys exerted a lot of energy over the last week or so, to get the necessary results just to get into the playoffs and you could see that within the performance [Wednesday]. It wasn't the prettiest game of soccer and we never really got into a rhythm or composed ourselves. Diamond Bar played a high tempo and direct brand of soccer, which is very different to what we encountered during league season."

The score was tied late in the game before the Brahmas netting the game-winning goal.

"Conceding two goals from set pieces was disappointing, especially the second one in the last eight minutes of the game after we had worked so hard to get the equalizer earlier," Richards said. "The lads worked hard all the way until the final whistle and hitting the post in the last minute just showed it just wasn't going to be our day."

Laguna finished the season 9-4-5.

"This is the third year in a row the team has improved both its league and overall record and the boys should be very proud of all their efforts throughout the season," Richards said. "We will be graduating some very talented players and I'm sure they will move onto great things both on and off the field in the future. It has been a pleasure to work with these players and even better to see how they have matured into young adults."

Twitter: @MikeSciacca

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