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High School Roundup: Laguna suffers setback

Breakers boys' soccer team falls to Saddleback, 4-0, in a key Orange Coast League game.

January 31, 2013|By Mike Sciacca
(Don Leach | Coastline…)

The Laguna Beach High boys' soccer team got the best of Saddleback when the teams met in an Orange Coast League opener on Jan. 9. On Tuesday in Santa Ana, the host Roadrunners returned the favor by blanking the visiting Breakers, 4-0.

The loss left Laguna 2-3-2 in league, and 7-3-4 overall. Saddleback improved to 4-2-1 in league and 12-3-3 overall.

"We are very disappointed with this game, not only because of the result, but also at how we responded when we went a couple of goals behind," Laguna Coach Dan Richards said. "The first half wasn't a great game but was pretty even and apart from the goal we conceded from a set piece and the shot we had saved off the line, neither team had many other clear opportunities."

Laguna, which upended Saddleback, then ranked third in CIF Southern Section Division 5, 3-0, when the teams met in the first round of league play, trailed by only 1-0 at the break.

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"At halftime we spoke about a couple of changes and made an adjustment to the formation as we knew we had to push numbers forward to try and get an equalizer," Richards said. "The first 10 minutes, the boys did a lot better of what was asked. They had a few good chances, the [Saddleback] keeper had to make a couple saves, and we hit the cross bar.

"When we got hit on the break and they scored their second goal, though, it really deflated us and we never really got going again afterward. It was always likely we could concede more goals after that point when chasing the game."

Laguna previously had played visiting Estancia to a 3-3 draw on Jan. 25. Reece Barton, Willy Wheeler and Jake Hexberg scored for the Breakers.

"The lads did very well in the first half and really took it to Estancia," Richards said. "They followed the game plan perfectly and made it very hard for Estancia to find their rhythm. [Jake] Hexberg, getting such an early goal, helped the team build confidence especially as we were limited to so few attempts in the first meeting. Willy [Wheeler], grabbing a second goal before halftime was well deserved and he did a great job following up after the save from the keeper."

"Despite Reece [Barton] scoring an excellent goal in the second half, we were really penned in for the majority of the second period. Estancia put us under a lot of pressure and never gave up. We started to fatigue badly and were just unable to hold out against the onslaught."

In the first meeting between the teams on Jan. 11, Estancia scored a 1-0 win over the Breakers.

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