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Girls' Soccer: Eagles tie yet again

Estancia battles but again scoreless against Saddleback, its sixth tie in eight league matches.

February 01, 2013|By Matt Szabo

SANTA ANA — How can a team that is unbeaten in league at this point of the season be in danger of missing the playoffs?

Welcome to the 2012-13 Estancia High girls' soccer season.

The Eagles put forth another big effort Thursday afternoon at Saddleback High, battling the Roadrunners to a scoreless tie. But the difference between three points for a win and one point for a tie becomes more and more obvious as the Orange Coast League schedule hits the home stretch.

The ties are getting a bit ridiculous for Estancia (6-2-12, 2-0-6 in league), which remains tied for second in league with Saddleback (9-4-5, 3-2-3) with 12 points. Later Thursday, at least Estancia was helped out by its cross-town rival.

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Last-place Costa Mesa upset Calvary Chapel, 1-0, at Jim Scott Stadium. The result dropped Calvary (3-3-2 in league) into fourth place, with 11 points.

Only the top three teams in league are guaranteed spots into the CIF Southern Section Division 4 playoffs. Estancia has the most difficult schedule of any league team in the final week of the regular season, playing host to first-place Godinez on Tuesday before facing Calvary Chapel on Thursday at Centennial Park.

Estancia Coach Jessica Perry, whose teams have made the playoffs in each of her four seasons as coach, said she doesn't like her team's chances for an at-large CIF berth. However, CdM Coach Bryan Middleton, who is a CIF Southern Section Division 1 advisory committee member, said Thursday that teams that have applied for an at-large playoff berth with a .500 overall record have not been denied recently.

"Our league is not ranked very high in CIF, so I don't know if that does us any favors or not," Perry said. "And we don't have many wins in league, so that doesn't help us either. Our best bet is just earning it the old-fashioned way. I think we can do it, though. I have full confidence that we can win the next two games. It's not going to be easy, but I think it's possible."

Despite no losses in league, Estancia also has not beaten any team other than Costa Mesa. Thursday's match was the second straight scoreless tie with Saddleback.

Estancia shined defensively, never letting Saddleback junior forwards Lilibeth Torres (19 goals this season) and Maritssa Perez (11 goals) get going. Solid defense from seniors Marlene Calderon and Shantel Romero, freshman Brandi White and sophomore keeper Caitlin Leahy (six saves) helped the Eagles.

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