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Mustangs are streak busters

SOCCER: Costa Mesa boys' team notches first victory, 2-1, in six years over cross-town rival Estancia Wednesday.

February 01, 2007|By Dominic Perrone

COSTA MESA — Throughout the day the momentum was building. During class and in the Costa Mesa High halls in-between. The boys' soccer team anticipated what was coming after the final bell rang.

It was time to feast on Eagle. Costa Mesa broke a six-year drought to cross-town rival Estancia with a 2-1 victory spurred by junior Steve Estrada's tie-breaking goal with six minutes remaining Wednesday at Costa Mesa.

Senior midfielder John Zapata, a four-year starter on varsity, had never beaten Estancia, but a close loss, 1-0, earlier in the season to the Orange Coast League-leading Eagles had the team bursting with confidence.

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"Everybody was talking about it all day long, it was time to eat some Eagle," Zapata said. "Lunch, breakfast, all day. We were pumped. Everybody was passing. Everybody was communicating. We beat them. After the game we were telling each other 'Nice game.' Everybody played good."

With Estancia (5-1 in league) and the Mustangs (2-4 in league) due to face each other again, in what will now be the rubber match, Wednesday was not the Costa Mesa seniors' final opportunity to break the streak, but they didn't think of waiting.

"We were thinking about the next generation," Zapata said. "We were so excited."

The loss was the first for Estancia this season in league play and for Eagles Coach Gannon Burks it was the first time in his three years coaching at Estancia that he lost to the Mustangs.

"It was bad from the get-go with players late to the bus," Burks said. "It's just one of those days where you just wish you didn't get up. We weren't focused. We didn't hold our shape on defense. We were very quiet out there. We didn't communicate well. When you are on the top they are going to want to knock you down. We learned a lesson today that had nothing to do with soccer."

Burks said, prior to the season, with three league games against each team alterations between matches would be crucial.

"They made good adjustments," Burks said. "All the credit to Coach [Eugene] Day. All the credit to the Costa Mesa boys."

The back-and-forth game was nearing a tie, having been knotted at one since the 24th minute when Mesa senior Franco Duarte blasted in the equalizer off a 30-yard free kick.

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