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Sailors' rise continues

Girls' Soccer

Newport Harbor moves into three-way tie for first in Sunset League after beating Fountain Valley.

January 19, 2012|By Matt Szabo
(Don Leach / Daily…)

NEWPORT BEACH — Larry Draluck is in his fifth year as the head coach of the Newport Harbor High girls' soccer team.

The Sailors are aiming for their second straight CIF Southern Section Division I playoff appearance. They're also making something more intangible, but every bit as valuable — a winning culture.

"If we can make the playoffs two years in a row, we've established some continuity here and an expectation of excellence," Draluck said. "In my first few years, that didn't exist. I think the girls came out and maybe expected not to be successful. Big difference [now]. We have a little bit of pride in the team. This team came together nicely."

After Thursday's 3-1 victory over Fountain Valley at Davidson Field, the Sailors have more than pride. They have a share of first place in the Sunset League, one of the most competitive leagues in Southern California.

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Senior forward Josie Jogwe scored twice as Newport Harbor improved to 5-7-2, 3-1-1 in league. Halfway through the league schedule there's a three-way tie for first, as Edison and Los Alamitos also own 3-1-1 records following the Chargers' 1-0 victory over the Griffins on Thursday.

Jogwe said she's excited for her team. It is believed that Newport Harbor has never won a league title in girls' soccer; last year the Sailors finished third in league before upsetting Saugus on the road in the first round of CIF.

"I think it's really good," Jogwe said. "No one knew who we were. You'd tell people, 'I'm from Newport,' and they're like, 'Oh, OK.' No one really knows who you are. But this year and last year, it's been great, knowing that we can play hard and get results."

Newport Harbor did so, attacking early and often. The Sailors scored first in the sixth minute, off a corner kick from senior Shanay Fischer. Freshman Natalie Ward's initial shot in the box was blocked, but Jogwe was there for the rebound goal.

Last-place Fountain Valley (4-11-2, 0-5) answered in the 22nd minute, after Dakota Griggs played the ball ahead to freshman Kasey Reeve. Newport goalie Emily Browne was forced to come out and Reeve dribbled by her and tapped it in, tying the score. It was the first goal the Sailors had allowed in their last three league games.

"There wasn't too much urgency in the first half," Draluck said. "I think in the second half we kind of responded ... To [the Barons'] credit, usually they're very disorganized, but they played very well tactically. They gave us a lot of problems, so credit goes to them."

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