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Girls' Soccer: Bounces go against CdM

Sea Kings eliminated after loss to Esperanza in CIF Southern Section Division 1 second round.

February 19, 2013|By Matt Szabo

COSTA MESA — The rain never materialized Tuesday afternoon at Jim Scott Stadium, but a brisk wind played a role in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 second-round girls' soccer playoff match.

Host Corona del Mar played north to south in the first half, with the wind, but never took the lead.

In the second half, visiting Esperanza made sure the Sea Kings' hopes were just gone with the wind.

Aztecs senior midfielder Nosa Ogiamien scored in the 62nd minute as CdM was shocked, 1-0, in a season-ending loss.

Esperanza (15-5-6), the second-place team from the Century League, plays host to Harvard-Westlake on Thursday in a quarterfinal match.

Corona del Mar (16-4-4), which won its third straight outright Pacific Coast League title this year, also had a streak of four straight years making the CIF quarterfinals. This year, its season ended a round earlier with a loss that was hard to take.

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"We probably had 75% of the possession in the first half, with the advantage of the wind," Coach Bryan Middleton said. "Unfortunately, we didn't find the back of the net. We needed to get that goal in the first half. Basically, we would have put them away if we would have scored in the first half. It didn't happen, though. We fought hard the second half, but basically soccer's like this. You can dominate a game and you can still lose."

The Sea Kings' best chance to score before the break came in the 25th minute. UC Santa Barbara-bound senior captain Maddie O'Connor dribbled near the top of the box before making a left-footed strike toward the goal. But Esperanza freshman goalkeeper Melissa Weck, diving to her right, made a standout save.

The match went into halftime scoreless, which pleased Esperanza and Coach John King.

"They had home-field advantage, they had the wind, they had the momentum," King said. "If we can survive the first half, or even 20 minutes, once we did 20 minutes we got some confidence. Obviously, [playing scoreless] the whole half, we definitely got to go in the locker room with our heads up."

Esperanza broke the tie in the 62nd minute, after being awarded a corner kick despite Middleton's claim that the ball seemed to go off an Esperanza player.

"To begin with, it was a goal kick," Middleton said. "It shouldn't have been a corner kick ... All of the players were clearly saying that it was a goal kick and this [referee], who's 60 yards away, is saying, 'No, it's a corner' ... they got a great opportunity because of the referee."

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