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Boys' Soccer: Eagles keep winning

Moya nets hat trick to help lead Estancia to quarterfinal win at Windward in CIF Southern Section Division 5 playoffs.

February 27, 2014|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza

LOS ANGELES — Don't bring up the last time the Estancia High boys' soccer team won the CIF Southern Section title to Robert Castellano. He begrudgingly will thank you for reminding him.

That special season 14 years ago can be a sensitive issue for him at times. He missed being a part of that section championship team because he graduated the year before the school won it all.

Castellano never played for a section title, but he is now one win away from coaching the Eagles in one.

As the coach, Castellano is in full control, always composed. Yet, he almost broke down after he led his alma mater to a 5-2 rout at Los Angeles Windward in the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 5 playoffs on Thursday.

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Castellano, in his fifth season in charge, was at a loss for words when he addressed his team afterward. The Eagles circled around their leader and hugged him, saying, "It's OK to cry."

Castellano stepped back and wiped a couple tears away. At 33, it felt good to cry in front of teenagers. Reaching this stage of the season, the semifinals, meant a lot to Castellano.

Every season, he believed his school possessed the type of talent to make a deep run in the postseason. Before he took over at Estancia, Castellano was an assistant coach for five seasons under Coach Gannon Burks. In their final season together, in 2008-09, the Eagles lost on the road in the quarterfinals.

Four minutes into the Eagles' first quarterfinal appearance in five seasons, they trailed, 1-0. Castellano and his team never blinked against Windward. They weren't going out in the quarterfinals. They made it too far, out of the wild-card round with a 2-0 win against Pomona Diamond Ranch at home, to driving 139 miles to Thermal Desert Mirage and scoring in the 84th minute to prevail, 1-0, in the first round, to upsetting third-seeded Apple Valley Granite Hills, 2-1, at home in the second round, to a 48-mile trip to Windward for the quarterfinals.

Chris Moya made sure to keep Estancia's season alive. The sophomore produced three goals and the Eagles advanced to the semifinals for the first time since the 1999-00 season, the one Castellano missed as a player.

"We want to leave our mark," said Castellano, who wants to guide Estancia to its third section crown in school history. "We want people in Orange County to know that Estancia soccer is one of the best soccer programs in the county."

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