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CdM, Uni all tied up

Girls' Soccer

Sea Kings, already the Pacific Coast League champs, have 15-match winning streak snapped.

February 02, 2012|By Matt Szabo

COSTA MESA — It has been an eventful week for the Corona del Mar High girls' soccer team, even though Thursday's game against University was their only one of the week.

On Tuesday, CdM learned it had clinched its second straight outright league title following Uni's victory over Beckman. On Wednesday, four of CdM's top players — seniors Ally Brahs (Washington), Amanda Stephenson (George Mason), Sydney Raguse (Michigan) and goalie Sarah Cox (Stanford) — signed national letters of intent.

CdM has also been in finals this week. An inspired University side provided the Sea Kings with their toughest league test so far Thursday at Jim Scott Stadium.

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The teams played to a scoreless tie in the Pacific Coast League match, snapping CdM's 15-match winning streak. But Coach Bryan Middleton said in some ways it might not have been a bad thing for his team, ranked No. 2 in CIF Southern Section Division I.

"In some sort of a weird way, as a coach, you're kind of glad this happens sometimes so you can refocus everything," Middleton said. "It's tough to make a run all the way since Dec. 10 and get all the way into the playoffs. If you lose in the playoffs, you're done. This is a little bit of a wake-up call in the sense that we need to make sure when we get our opportunities in the game, we're finishing them."

Corona del Mar (18-1-2, 7-0-1 in league) could not finish off University (7-7-4, 2-5-2). This was true even though the Sea Kings, ranked No. 6 nationally by ESPNHS, dominated the scoring chances in the first half.

Perhaps the best chance came just before halftime, but Karsten Sigband's free kick from near the CdM sideline angled through the box dangerously before going out of bounds. Minutes earlier, Uni had its only real scoring chance of the half, but Kailee Feinstein's header off a free kick was grabbed by Cox.

The game was more even in the second half. Trojans Coach Dominic Fratantaro said his team has been coming together lately, including that 1-0 win over Beckman on Tuesday. CdM also had beaten University, 4-0, in the teams' first league meeting Jan. 12.

"[Tuesday's win over Beckman] was one of our toughest games, and one of the times that we've basically fought the hardest," Fratantaro said. "This game was right there. I thought we were right there with them. Last time they got a couple of fluke goals and we got a red card, and this time it was a close contest. I'm really proud of my girls."

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