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Boys' Soccer: Gomez does trick for Eagles

Senior scores three goals, helping Estancia get past Brentwood in CIF Southern Section Division 5 wild-card match.

February 13, 2013|By Matt Szabo

COSTA MESA — The goal is looking awfully big right now for Estancia High boys' soccer player Cristian Gomez.

The Eagles as a team also have big goals for the CIF Southern Section Division 5 playoffs.

Gomez continued his torrid scoring pace Wednesday night at Jim Scott Stadium. The senior striker recorded his second hat trick of the season as Estancia blanked visiting Brentwood, 3-0, in a Division 5 wild-card match.

Estancia dominated on the pitch. The dangerous Eagles advanced to the first round, where they will play at Hacienda League champion Los Altos on Friday.

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"I'm more than confident that we can play with anybody in our division," Estancia Coach Robert Castellano said. "Especially if we play like this, I don't see anybody stopping us. CIF can put any team they want in front of us; we're more than ready."

Gomez, who was not on the team earlier in the season due to what Castellano called discipline issues, has been red-hot since returning. Gomez, who was last year's Orange Coast League Offensive Player of the Year, has 13 goals in just nine games.

By comparison, Gomez had 10 goals all last year.

"It's pretty unbelievable," Castellano said. "He's playing with a chip on his shoulder. He's playing to prove something to himself ... Christian's a great player and his attitude has improved. The kids see that. They feed off him, and the kids get a little more confident when they see Chris on the pitch. I'm happy he's back; I'm happy he changed it around."

Castellano credited his brother Xavier, the Estancia girls' basketball co-coach, for helping aide Gomez's return to the Eagles.

"My brother talked to him," Robert Castellano said. "He helped Cris get back on the team, and Cris recognizes that. After he scored a goal, he kind of gave a thumbs up to 'Xavy.' If it wasn't for him, [Gomez] wouldn't be on the team right now."

Wednesday's match was chippy at first, with both sides arguing with the referee. Eventually, Robert Castellano told his players multiple times to stop arguing.

Gomez's play helped settle down the Eagles (10-5-7). He scored first in the 31st minute, taking the pass from junior Jorge Mendoza in the box and chipping the ball over Brentwood goalkeeper Jordan Bostick.

Brentwood (8-9-3), the fourth-place team from the Alpha League, nearly tied the score just before halftime, but a header by senior Daniel Rapaport clanged off the crossbar.

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