Laguna Beach has regular-season wins against all of the other top-seeded teams in the division (Palos Verdes, San Clemente, Agoura and Montebello).
In their final regular-season game Feb. 12, the Breakers also did something they hadn’t done since the 2007 CIF Masters Tournament — beat former league rival Corona del Mar. Laguna pulled away in the second half for an 8-3 victory at the Sea Kings’ pool.
Sophomore Yoshi Andersen had three goals and senior Lexie Ross scored twice for Laguna, which held CdM to just one goal — on a penalty shot — in the entire second half.
“We really thought that if we shot well that we would be in a good position to win,” said Coach Ethan Damato, who saw his team avenge two earlier tournament losses to CdM. “I thought the girls played confidently.”
Breakers defender Jessica Shusko, who helped hold CdM sophomore hole-set Pippa Saunders scoreless, said she thinks the team has plenty of momentum heading into CIF.
“I think we were really clicking today,” Shusko said. “Good shooting, too. It’s definitely a morale booster for us.”
The Breakers, the No. 3 seeds out of the Orange Coast League, travel to Bloomington of Colton for their first-round CIF Southern Section Division III match today.
Laguna Beach has made the playoffs two years in a row for the first time in program history. This time, the Breakers will try to advance out of the first round, which hasn’t been done since the team made the quarterfinals in 2000.
A win against Bloomington today and the Breakers would face either Mayfair or Beverly Hills in the second round Wednesday.
“We haven’t played anyone in [Bloomington’s] league or preseason schedule,” Laguna Coach Bill Rolfing said. “They’re sort of an unknown to us. But they had a good record this year, both in league and overall. I sort of like the draw. They don’t know us and we don’t know them.”
The Breakers have had a bit of a break since finishing up their league schedule. Rolfing said it’s helped the team, as it’s allowed seniors Kelsey Peterson (leg), Jessie Goodman (pulled Achilles), Christina Gardilcic (ankle) and goalie Victoria Ellis (foot) a chance to heal various injuries.
“We should be all mended by [today],” Rolfing said.