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Sailors gain wisdom, win

SOCCER: Draluck’s sideline assistance helps Newport Harbor rally past host Laguna Hills in Sunset League tuneup.

January 06, 2009

LAGUNA HILLS — Larry Draluck should coach with an orchestral baton. Or, at the very least, deliver his streaming soccer consciousness from behind a lectern.

Instead, the director of the Newport Harbor High girls’ program paces, prods and peruses from various sideline vantage points, all the while trying to translate what he sees as the game’s beautiful nuance into verbal snippets that might stay with his players for longer than the next possession.

The sideline sage, whose 25-year coaching career includes stints at Cal State Los Angeles, UC Santa Barbara and San Diego, as well as many years of involvement with the Southern California Blues club and Olympic development programs, must have gotten through to the Sailors on Tuesday night.

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After a first half in which they dominated host Laguna Hills, but had only a 1-0 deficit to show for it, the Tars rallied for a 2-1 nonleague victory to improve to 3-8-1, heading into Thursday’s Sunset League opener against Los Alamitos.

Senior Lauren Devoy netted the game-winner in the 72nd minute, cashing in an opportunity set up by junior Elizabeth Eddy and sophomore Beth Barnard.

Eddy initiated the scoring sequence, challenging Hawks goalkeeper Haley Wenlock for a loose ball in front of the cage. Eddy, a member of the under-17 national team that played in the FIFA Women’s World Cup this past fall, managed to separate the ball from a sprawling Wenlock. The ball squirted toward the right corner, where Barnard once again beat a crawling Wenlock to it, knocking it off the flailing goalie toward the end line. Eddy collected it there and sent a cross to Devoy, positioned near the far post, about 10 yards out. Devoy patiently settled the ball — executing one of Draluck’s recurring instructions — and fired it into the net, just inside the left post.

Newport Harbor tied the score in the 43rd minute, when freshman Josie Jogwe punched in a rebound off a 25-yard blast from Natalie Swift that caromed off the crossbar, back in front of the cage.

The Sailors posted 15 shots, nearly doubling eight from the Hawks (3-7-3). And the visitors dominated possession, much to Draluck’s, well, reluctant satisfaction.

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