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Eagles extend dance

SOCCER: Two early goals help Estancia get past the second round for first time during Burks’ six seasons at the helm.

February 25, 2009|By Barry Faulkner

COSTA MESA — Since Gannon Burks became head coach six seasons ago, the postseason for the Estancia High boys’ soccer team had always been nothing more than a two-step.

But, thanks to an offensive one-two, converting both of its first-half shots against second-round visitor Inglewood Wednesday, the No. 4-seeded Eagles will Cha-Cha into the CIF Southern Section Division IV quarterfinals.

Estancia converted twice in the first 31 minutes and held on for a 2-1 win Wednesday, breaking new ground for Burks, who told his jubilant players afterward that he would have to create a new goal for the rest of the season.

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“We had two goals for ourselves at the beginning of the season,” Burks said after his team (15-1-7) advanced to visit North Torrance on Friday. “We wanted to win the Orange Coast League championship. And, we wanted to get past the second round of CIF.

“I’m elated about how well these guys are playing. So, now we’re in new territory. We’re going to have to set a new goal [today].”

It didn’t take long for the Eagles to post their first goal against the Sentinels.

After forward Jorge Olivas was tripped just outside the box between the southern sideline and the football hash marks, senior midfielder Rony Argueta blasted the ensuing free kick just off the inside of the upper right post from the 14-yard line.

The ball caromed to the other side of the net, about two yards inside the goal line, prompting Argueta to sprint to the sideline for what amounted to a group hug in the fourth minute.

It was the first free kick Argueta had taken this season.

“The honest-to-god truth is, he stayed after practice [Tuesday], we brought some dummies out [to simulate a defensive wall] and he lined up and practiced for probably an hour, until it got dark,” Burks said of Argueta, who scored just his third goal of the season.

“I practiced that [exact] shot [Tuesday],” Argueta said. “Since I was shooting pretty well [Tuesday, the coaches] were like, ‘This is your shot, bro.’ So, I took it.

“I saw it hit the post and I wondered, ‘Is it going in or is it not.’ ”

The spirited home crowd didn’t have to wonder long whether Estancia, which extended its unbeaten streak to 14 games, and just missed its second straight playoff shutout, would add to its lead.

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