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Boys' Soccer: Eagles take back bell

Pizarro scores twice for Estancia, which is third in league but remains in title contention with three games left.

February 05, 2014|By Matt Szabo

Estancia High boys' soccer coach Robert Castellano said his star sophomore forward Kevin Pizarro has been in a bit of a slump lately.

Pizarro scored nine goals in the Eagles' first 10 games. In the Orange Coast League, though, he scored just one goal in the first six games.

Don't tell cross-town rival Costa Mesa that Pizarro has struggled. The Mustangs probably wouldn't believe it.

Pizarro burned them for two second-half goals as the Eagles won the second Battle for the Bell game, 3-0, on Wednesday evening at Jim Scott Stadium. Estancia's second win over its rival this year means the Eagles take back the bell, which was won by Mesa last year.

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Estancia (11-4-4, 4-1-2 in league) also stays in league contention. The Eagles sit in third place with three games to go, two points behind first-place Laguna Beach (5-1-1 in league) and a point behind Godinez (4-0-3).

The Eagles, searching for their first league title since 2010, play host to Saddleback on Friday. They then play Godinez on Tuesday at Centennial Park in a big game, before closing the regular season at home against Calvary Chapel on Feb. 13.

"If we play how we played today, play hard and we actually show up, we can take league this year," Pizarro said.

Estancia kept getting called for offsides early in Wednesday's tilt, despite the best efforts of senior midfielder Jorge Mendoza to set up his team with scoring chances. But the Eagles' first goal came late in the first half on a set piece.

Sophomore Andy Ceja, who scored the only goal in the Eagles' 1-0 win over Mesa on Jan. 15, did it again on a free kick. His strike from 27 yards out from the left went cross-cage, finding the upper-right corner of the goal.

The Eagles had the 1-0 halftime advantage. Costa Mesa (1-12-2, 1-6) nearly tied it early in the second half, after freshman Jayson Calderon got a good look from the right side of the box. The shot went just wide left.

Estancia took advantage almost immediately. In the 49th minute, Pizarro perfectly struck a ball from up top into the right corner of the goal. Twenty minutes later, his shot from the right side of the box, coming off a deflected crossing attempt, again found the back of the net. Pizarro's team-best 12th goal of the season gave the Eagles a commanding 3-0 lead.

Pizarro nearly had the first hat trick of his high school career, as he got past the charging Mesa keeper in the final minutes. But he couldn't get a shot off.

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