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Sea Kings blank University

Despite losing key players to injuries, CdM remains undefeated in league play.

January 12, 2013|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza

COSTA MESA — On crutches, Bryan Middleton tried to coach the Corona del Mar High girls' soccer team while sitting down. He didn't last long on the bench Saturday.

The match was too intense for the always active and vocal Middleton to stay put. With the help of crutches, he rose to his feet to guide the Sea Kings in a Pacific Coast League match against University.

Eight days out from right knee surgery, he was his usual self, yelling out fouls to make sure the referees caught what he saw from the sideline. Middleton wore a knee brace and he's not the only person from his team that's recovering from an injury.

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A player missed the match because of a groin injury, another because of her knee, and one because of her Achilles. Then late in the first half, Middleton saw another player leave the match with an ankle injury.

While the Sea Kings keep losing key players to injuries, they're not losing many battles on the field. They stayed undefeated in league play with a 1-0 victory at Estancia High, the Sea Kings' new home.

The reason for moving the rest of CdM's home matches to Estancia is that the field at CdM is in bad shape.

"Our field conditions at CdM are like almost a liability," Middleton said.

What's bizarre is none of the injuries his players have suffered can be blamed on CdM's field.

Playing on Estancia's turf field for the first time in a match this season, the Sea Kings didn't have to worry about clumps of dirt. They just had to adjust to competing without midfielder Annie Alvarado (groin), defender Brianna Westrup (knee) and defender Molly Keasey (Achilles), plus goalkeeper Kat Hess and midfielder Monica Venturini, who were out of town playing in Las Vegas at the Region IV Olympic Development Program championships and visiting Cal Poly Pomona, respectively.

CdM (10-2-2, 2-0-0 in league), ranked No. 3 in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 poll, just keeps finding ways to win.

The turf at Estancia plays to the Sea Kings' strength of possessing the ball. They controlled the action for much of the second half, putting together scoring chances in bunches during the first 16 minutes.

In the 57th minute, CdM finally found the back of the net. Birkley Sigband gave her team a 1-0 lead with a shot goalkeeper Coryna Ogenseitan stood no chance at stopping.

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