CdM moves on

Girls' Soccer

Venturini scores on Stiver's assist, as Sea Kings survive physical first-round match with Huntington Beach.

February 17, 2012|By Matt Szabo
(Scott Smeltzer…)

COSTA MESA — Members of the Corona del Mar High girls' soccer team said Friday that there's pressure with being the top seed in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs.

CdM has never won a section title in girls' soccer. At a school that only puts up banners in the gymnasium for CIF championships, the girls' soccer program is not included.

The Sea Kings have to win four playoff games just to get in position to make that history. On Friday at Jim Scott Stadium, a physical Huntington Beach side tried to derail those plans from the start by pulling off a big upset.

CdM showed it could fight back. Monica Venturini scored in the 32nd minute and the Sea Kings defeated the Oilers, 1-0, in the Division 1 first-round match.

CdM (21-2-2) will play Citrus Belt League champion Yucaipa in the second round Wednesday, at a site to be determined by coin flip. Yucaipa got past Mission Viejo, 1-0, in another first-round game Friday.


Neither team was assessed a yellow or red card, but plenty of bodies hit the turf against the Oilers on both sides. CdM's leading scorer, junior midfielder Annie Alvarado, was one of the players who was most affected. Late in the first half, she got her legs taken out from under her near midfield. Midway through the second, she briefly had to come out of the game after she was cut on her leg.

"We were expecting a physical game coming into it, so we were prepared for that," Alvarado said. "We were ready to be hit, but we needed to come out hard too. We needed to make some hits ourselves."

Venturini hit the Oilers (8-9-4) where it mattered, on the scoreboard. CdM Coach Bryan Middleton inserted the junior into the game in the 28th minute. Three minutes later, she found the back of the net near the far post on a cross from sophomore Miranda Stiver.

The play developed fast for the Pacific Coast League champions, ranked No. 9 nationally in the Powerade Fab 50. Midfielder Karsten Sigband gained possession and played the ball ahead to Ally Brahs. Huntington Beach goalie Justice Walker came out to clear the ball, but didn't get all of it and Stiver was able to gain possession.

Middleton said he was hoping to get another goal early in the second half, with the sun in Walker's face. But she made some nice saves, finishing with four of them.

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