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Rivals will reunite soon

Freiberger and Feinstein lead their teams into today's clash, but next year they'll play together at Dominguez Hills.

January 24, 2011|By Matt Szabo, matthew.szabo@latimes.com
  • Estancia High's Jackie Freiberger, left, and Costa Mesa High's Sami Feinstein are girls' soccer rivals who will join forces at Cal State Dominguez Hills next season.
Estancia High's Jackie Freiberger, left, and Costa… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

A team is often called a "side" in soccer, and for now Estancia High senior Jackie Freiberger and Costa Mesa High senior Sami Feinstein are definitely on opposite sides.

That's just temporary. The past, present and future of the careers of Freiberger and Feinstein are intertwined like the stitching on a soccer ball.

When they were about 8 years old, Freiberger and Feinstein both played soccer on an AYSO Region 120 team called "Blue Crush."

They were just starting out in the sport. It was a team on which the young players look like a swarm of bees as they chase the ball around the field.

"It was one of those teams where they just scramble a bunch of girls together and you play," Freiberger said.

A decade later, there's more at stake. Freiberger anchors the midfielder and forward spots for the Eagles (10-3-2, 4-0 in league), and Feinstein does the same for the Mustangs (4-8-5, 2-2). They meet in the first of two Battle for the Bell games today at 4:45 p.m. at Jim Scott Stadium.

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Yet, their story doesn't end there. Both players have committed to continue their soccer careers at Cal State Dominguez Hills.

They're planning to sign Feb. 1 to make it official. Next year they won't be Mustangs or Eagles, but Toros for the Division II school.

"It's funny that we'll finally play together [again] after like 10 years," Freiberger said. "Both of us going there, instead of having to go by yourself, it made it easier. Driving, we can carpool, and [have better] living conditions. It'll help out a lot."

Estancia Coach Jessica Gatica said Freiberger and Feinstein will be roommates at the school. It'll be a lot of soccer talent in one room in Carson, not too far from where the Los Angeles Galaxy play.

Feinstein leads the Mustangs with nine goals and four assists, and Freiberger has team-highs of eight goals and eight assists for the Eagles. They both play club soccer for Under-19 Premier teams, Feinstein for Wolfpack and Freiberger for Orange Soccer Club.

Freiberger (5-foot-6) and Feinstein (5-5), both team captains and four-year varsity players, have game bigger than their heights.

"Jackie is taller and faster, and Sami is more of like a bulldog-type of player," Gatica said. "[Feinstein] is going to run over you regardless. But they're both fearless. Both are great to have. If I had both girls on my team, it would have been a huge blessing, but I just have Jackie and I'm plenty happy with that at the same time."

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