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Sailors can't keep up with Oilers

Newport Harbor falls behind early, loses to first-place rival Huntington Beach on the road.

October 04, 2012|By Matt Szabo

HUNTINGTON BEACH — A table, with snacks for sale, sat just outside the entrance to the field hockey field at Huntington Beach High on Thursday.

But the Oilers recently installed field turf on the field. Several people had to be told that they couldn't actually bring the snacks they just purchased onto the field, water only.

It wasn't too big of a deal to the Huntington Beach fans. The play of the Oilers girls made sure that they went home happy.

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Newport Harbor gave up two first-half goals and lost, 3-1, in the Sunset League match between the two rivals.

"They definitely came with the pressure," Newport Harbor Coach Amanda Boyer said. "They're a really good team. We just have some things to work on. It was a really good experience for the girls to go through, so that they can learn from it and move on with the rest of our season. We can only go up from here the next time we face them, and be more prepared."

Newport Harbor and Huntington Beach are the class of Southern California. Four years in a row they have met in the title match of the Los Angeles Field Hockey Assn. Tournament of Champions, with Newport Harbor winning all four.

It's been more even in the Sunset League, where the first-place Oilers (11-0, 4-0 in league) are the defending champions. They struck early in Thursday's match after being awarded a penalty shot. Senior Marina Elmore converted it, and the hosts were up a goal less than four minutes into the first half.

They increased their lead. A pass from Elmore went to senior Kayla Wigney, who poked it into the top of the goal to make the score 2-0 with 14:01 remaining in the first half.

The Sailors (10-2-3, 2-1-1 in league) went into halftime down by two goals.

"I think we didn't come out as strong as we potentially could," Newport Harbor senior defender Hannah Vigil said. "I think that was hard for us in the beginning. Obviously, when you don't come out with your full potential and a really strong mindset, Huntington is a great team and they're going to prey on that. Amanda talked to us at half, and we kind of lifted each other up. I think our second half was a lot stronger."

The Oilers, who held a 16-7 edge on short corners, kept the pressure on in the second half. Wigney, who was the league Most Valuable Offensive Player last year as a junior, made a standout play. She got a steal near midfield, sprinted down and juked past two Sailors defenders before scoring cross-cage.

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