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Boys' Soccer: CdM unbeaten in league

Sea Kings shut out Irvine and improve to 4-0-2 in Pacific Coast League. Stimpson finishes with goal and assist.

January 31, 2014|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza
  • Corona del Mar High's John O'Connor, left, and Blake Munger, right, congratulate Kyle Martin after he scored a goal against Irvine.
Corona del Mar High's John O'Connor, left,… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

IRVINE — The Corona del Mar High boys' soccer team usually loads up a school bus unlike many programs. Thirty-one players are on the team this season.

With no school on Friday because of finals week, the players didn't meet on campus to take the bus for an evening match at Irvine. Coach George Larsen allowed his players to go on their own, in separate cars.

Once they arrived for the away match, it didn't take long for the senior-laden Sea Kings to unite on the field. The Sea Kings came together, thanks to midfielder Liam Stimpson, one of 25 seniors on the team.

Stimpson recorded a goal and assisted on another, and CdM remained unbeaten in Pacific Coast League play by blanking the Vaqueros, 2-0.

Stimpson assisted on the first goal and recorded the second goal, keeping CdM in first place in league. The Sea Kings (4-0-2 in league) are one point ahead of University (4-1-1) with four league contests left.

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The Sea Kings play host to University next week, which is an immense one for CdM. The next two matches are against Woodbridge and University, the only two squads CdM has failed to beat in league.

"The last time against Woodbridge, we were pretty unfortunate," Stimpson said. "We played well. We had enough of chances to win the game, but we came out with a 2-2 tie. We just got to clean it up defensively, put our chances away, and we should get the win, but it will be a tough match."

Stimpson and the Sea Kings expect a challenge at home on Wednesday from Woodbridge, the defending league champion, more so than they got from Irvine (0-5-1).

In the first match of the second part of league, the Vaqueros never really threatened CdM. The little chances they put together, the Sea Kings' back line, with Jesse DiGiovanni, Daniel McCabe, Max Premer and Brandon Huang, won balls. The Sea Kings weren't even at full strength on defense as starters Jay Damon (mononucleosis) and Nate Pozin (knee) sat out.

Compared to Irvine, CdM, which improved to 10-3-4 overall and is ranked No. 6 in the CIF Southern Section Division 3 poll, looked more than healthy. Coach Gary Berry said his Irvine team played without seven players due to illnesses and injuries. The Vaqueros suited up 13 players, and with just two substitutes, CdM attacked offensively and wore down Irvine.

The pressure finally paid off for CdM a minute after Larsen went to his bench late in the first half. Sorob Wadood entered as a forward in CdM's three-forward system, and Stimpson quickly found him deep in the box.

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