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Moya's hat trick: hair, nickname and shot

Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week

Sophomore scored three goals and lifted Estancia to CIF semifinals for first time in 14 seasons.

March 07, 2014|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza
(Don Leach, Daily…)

Chris Moya has arguably the best hair, the best nickname and the best shot on the Estancia High boys' soccer team. Coach Robert Castellano doesn't care much for the hair and nickname.

As for the shot, it's special. With the shot comes the other two. Moya tends to run his fingers through his hair after he strikes the ball. Moya then hears teammates on the bench call him "The Beast."

Castellano just shakes his head when he hears anyone refer to a 5-foot-6 and 140-pound sophomore as "The Beast."

"I told him to cut it off," Castellano said of Moya's coif haircut, which reminds Castellano of the kind David Beckham sports.

"I don't know," Moya said when Castellano asked for the name of the hairstyle. "Just mostly my forehead touches [my hair]. It doesn't really get in my way."

Moya and the hairdo stood out last week. Castellano couldn't brush it off. Without Moya, the Eagles don't go as far as they went this season, the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 5 playoffs.

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Moya made some hair-raising plays. He delivered the assist on the game-winning goal to upset third-seeded Apple Valley Granite Hills, 2-1, at home in the second round. Two days later, in the quarterfinals at Los Angeles Windward, he recorded three goals in a 5-2 rout.

There wasn't much to complain about on Castellano's end. Estancia made it to the semifinals for the first time in 14 seasons. Having Moya's deadly shot sparked a wild-card team's deep run.

"He can finish and he has that composure that nobody on the team has," Castellano said. "Obviously, he's tiny. He's going to get bigger, faster and stronger. It's going to be fun the next two years. Hopefully no academy snatches him away or anything."

Moya plans to return to Estancia for his junior season. His current one might not be over.

The Eagles (16-6-5) returned to practice on Thursday, two days after they lost at home to Baldwin Park, 2-1, in the semifinals. Castellano said he sent in the paperwork for Estancia to be considered for next week's CIF Southern California Regional Division II tournament. Four Division II teams from the CIF Southern Section will earn berths on Sunday, and Castellano hopes the Eagles get into the eight-team bracket. He admits they are a long shot to make it.

Moya found himself in a similar situation, the odds against him on his own team, before the season. In the summer, when the Eagles won the Foothill League, they pulled it off without much help from Moya.

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