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Sailors possess victory

SOCCER: Newport Harbor scores three goals in first 20 minutes and keeps ball away from Estancia to earn first win.

December 05, 2007|By Matt Szabo

COSTA MESA — As the Newport Harbor High girls’ soccer team warmed up prior to Tuesday’s nonleague match at Estancia, first-year coach Larry Draluck occasionally gave the Sailors some words of wisdom.

“It’s not just about scoring goals,” Draluck told the team. “It’s about keeping control of the ball.”

But the Sailors would soon show their new coach they could do both, running away with a 4-1 victory over the Eagles.

Senior Emily Ohlhaver scored two goals and added an assist for Newport Harbor, which showed impressive team speed throughout and scored three of its goals in the first 20 minutes of the game.

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“We want to win it all,” Ohlhaver said. “We have a lot of good players coming in this year. We’re just really excited to play and really hoping for a good season this year. Our upperclassmen are really serious about it, and we haven’t had that in the past.”

Just seven minutes in, sophomore Gillian Hogan crossed the ball to Ohlhaver, who stuck it in at the left post. In the 13th minute, Hogan converted a hard, straightaway shot from just outside the box to give the Sailors a 2-0 lead.

Six minutes after that, sophomore Elizabeth Eddy got a steal, then eventually took a pass from Ohlhaver to score Newport Harbor’s third goal.

It was smooth sailing for the Sailors and their first-year coach.

Draluck, a 47-year-old walk-on coach from San Clemente, is one of the most respected youth soccer coaches around. He has been coaching for 25 years, and started the San Juan Capistrano-based Southern California Blues soccer club in 1989.

Eighteen years later, Draluck still coaches on the Blues’ under-17 and under-18 teams. Hogan and Eddy, a transfer from Calvary Chapel who was the Orange Coast League co-MVP last season, play for the Blues’ under-16 team. In July, the duo helped the under-15 team win the national title at the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships in Texas.

Draluck himself won the California Youth Soccer Association-South Girls’ Coach of the Year award in 2005-06.

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