COSTA MESA — The Estancia High girls' soccer team walked off the field not looking like the outright Orange Coast League champion.
All the Eagles needed to do Thursday night was tie Costa Mesa and the league crown was all theirs. But they wanted to beat their cross-town rival in the league finale.
The match ended in a 1-1 tie at Jim Scott Stadium. When the Eagles reached the sideline, Coach Jessica Gatica spoke up.
She gave them a few words that lifted their spirits.
"We couldn't beat Mesa," Gatica said, "but [the Mustangs] can't go to the playoffs!"
The players broke out in a cheer and smiles. They earned the right to after Gatica said Estancia claimed the program's first outright league championship since 1993.
Seniors like Erin O'Neil and Jackie Freiberger were born in 1993. They are 17 years old now and vital parts of the team.