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QF brutal to CdM again

Girls' Soccer

Top-seeded Sea Kings allow goal down the stretch, falling to Santa Margarita in D1 quarterfinals.

February 24, 2012|By Matt Szabo
(Scott Smeltzer…)

COSTA MESA — After Friday's match, Corona del Mar High girls' soccer coach Bryan Middleton talked to his team about the Sea Kings' four goals this season.

They accomplished the first three goals. They beat Newport Harbor in the Battle of the Bay, won a tournament for the first time in program history and won their second straight outright Pacific Coast League title.

The fourth goal was the program's first CIF title. Middleton said before the CIF Southern Section Division 1 quarterfinal match against Santa Margarita that his team, the top seed, had the ability and the talent.

It took just one goal on the pitch, though, to suddenly end those dreams — and the Sea Kings' season.

Santa Margarita sophomore Taylor Klawunder scored late in the second half as the top-seeded Sea Kings were stunned, 1-0, in the upset loss at Jim Scott Stadium.

And yes, it was upsetting, particularly to the team's core group of seniors who lost in the CIF quarterfinals for the fourth straight season.

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"It's pretty devastating because we thought this was going to be our year," said senior Ally Brahs, starting to tear up a little. "It's the fourth year losing in the quarters. It's such a bummer."

The goal came suddenly in the 74th minute, much too suddenly for CdM. Klawunder's twin sister, Kaitlin, crossed the ball in from the left. A CdM player tried to clear it, but it ended up right at the feet of Taylor.

Taylor Klawunder volleyed it from the top of the 18-yard box into the left corner of the goal.

"She hit a nice first-time ball that went back post," Middleton said. "No keeper's gonna save that."

CdM, which has never been to a CIF title match in girls' soccer, lost in the quarterfinals for the fifth time in Middleton's nine-year tenure. It was particularly disappointing because prior to the goal, the Sea Kings (22-3-2) had been dominating scoring opportunities in the second half.

Middleton started the game with Brahs back on defense marking sophomore Sam Trenary, Santa Margarita's top scorer. She did a good job at that but, as the first half ended, he moved Brahs up to forward. CdM started getting better looks.

It continued into the second half, as senior Sydney Raguse sent several booming free kicks into the box of the Eagles (16-5-2). The best chance came in the 68th minute, when CdM sophomore Miranda Stiver got open in the left side of the box. Her first shot was saved by Eagles goalie Taylor Wulf, and the rebound attempt went wide.

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