CdM strikes early, often

Brown's hat trick leads to season-opening win for CdM at home, as Costa Mesa falls to 1-1 Tuesday.

December 07, 2010|By Matt Szabo,
(Scott Smeltzer…)

CORONA DEL MAR — The players on the Corona del Mar High girls' soccer team have numbers on the back of their jerseys, but maybe nametags on the front might also have been appropriate Tuesday.

Several of the Sea Kings have had club commitments the past couple of weeks. Coach Bryan Middleton said the nonleague season opener against visiting Costa Mesa was the first time he's had his whole squad assembled.

"This is the first time we've come together as a team this year," Middleton said after CdM captured a 6-1 victory. "I had 11 girls gone for club this last week. It's good to get together."

There were no team chemistry issues as the Sea Kings found the back of the net six times. Senior midfielder McKenzie Brown tallied half of that total, starting the season strong with a hat trick.

Brown was deadly near the top of the 18-yard box. She showed off a strong left foot from that spot on her final goal, pounding a shot into the lower-left corner of the net.


Brown is right-footed. It didn't matter.

"I scored two goals with my left," she said. "Some days I play better with my left foot, I don't know why. It was one of those days."

Junior Amanda Stephenson scored the final two goals for the Sea Kings, who are tied for 10th in the CIF Southern Section Division I poll. Middleton said Stephenson, junior defender Sydney Raguse and sophomore midfielder/forward Annie Alvarado were in North Carolina last weekend, for U.S. Youth Soccer National League competition.

The three players sat out the first half Tuesday but made their presence felt after the break. Alvarado tallied two assists after long runs down the right side of the field.

"When they stepped on the field in the second half, our game picked up a little bit for sure," Middleton said.

Junior Allyson Brahs, who has verbally committed to the University of Washington, scored the game's first goal just two minutes in. A cross from Emily Krebs went to Katrina Burke, who headed it to Brahs.

Brown scored her first goal in the 15th minute, but eight minutes later the Mustangs (1-1) got on the board. A free kick from senior Scarlett Zambrano found the foot of junior Darian Miller, who scored her second goal in as many games. Mesa was down just 2-1 at halftime.

Mesa senior defender Shaylen McNulty cleared out as many balls as she could, but the Sea Kings continued to keep Mesa junior goalie Margarita Acevedo (eight saves) busy in the second half.

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