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Bounce denies Pirates

OCC's best chance caroms off the crossbar in key conference setback to visiting Cypress.

October 26, 2010|By Barry Faulkner,

COSTA MESA — Orange Coast College women's soccer coach Kevin Smith believes the tangible difference between his Pirates and the top teams in the state may be equal to the miniscule separation between a tie and a loss in Tuesday's Orange Empire Conference setback to visiting Cypress.

In other words, about four inches.

The estimated four-inch width of the crossbar was all that kept OCC (9-5-2, 8-3-1 in conference) away from drawing even with the Chargers (13-1-3, 9-1-2), who held on for a 1-0 triumph. The victory helps Cypress build a four-point advantage in the standings (three points awarded for a win and one for a tie) over the third-place Pirates.

OCC, with four conference matches, faces an uphill battle to match Cypress and first-place Santiago Canyon in the final standings.

OCC sophomore scoring leader Taryn Bales ripped a left-footed blast from the top of the 18-yard box that clearly had Cypress goalkeeper Chelsea Broghamer beat. But the ball sailed flush onto the front of the crossbar and caromed back toward the field in the 73rd minute.


The near-miss, which generated a collective sigh from the OCC players, coaches and fans, was the best scoring chance for the Pirates, who finished with four shots.

Cypress' best chance among its six shots produced a different result, as freshman forward Kayla Arenas banged in a flick header from freshman Chelsea Braudo for the game-winner in the 51st minute.

"I thought it was a pretty even game," Smith said. "I think they finished their good chance and we hit the crossbar on our good chance. That's one of the top teams in the state and think we definitely played with them. I'm not going to say we definitely deserved to win, but I don't think we deserved to lose today."

Despite the loss, Smith said his team, which saw its five-game unbeaten streak snapped, continues to give merit to its quest for a postseason berth.

"It's complicated," Smith said of the method by which teams are granted regional playoff berths. "It's like a BCS-type formula called power points. A lot of it has to do with the records of the teams you've played, the results of those teams and other factors. As it stands today, it looks like we have a good chance to be in the playoffs. But we have four games left and we have to get some results in those games for sure."

Smith had more praise for his defense than his offense Tuesday.

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