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Breakers still look fresh

High School Roundup

Laguna Beach boys' soccer team back on track after taking nearly three weeks off.

January 09, 2014|By Mike Sciacca
(Don Leach / Coastline…)

A near-three week layoff did little to deter the Laguna Beach High boys' soccer team, which returned to action Wednesday at Guyer Field.

In fact, in playing their first game since Dec. 20, the Breakers ran up their highest goal total and produced their widest margin of victory of the season when they shut down visiting Saddleback Valley Christian, 5-0, in nonleague play.

The game marked the end of the nonleague season for Laguna, which improved to 3-4-3 overall. The Breakers next week head into Orange Coast League play and start their quest for a league title and return trip to the CIF playoffs Wednesday at Saddleback.

"This was a good confidence builder and a great way to return to the field after a long holiday break from games," Laguna Coach Dan Richards said. "Although it wasn't a perfect display, the boys did a good job and at times connected very well."

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Rory Saunders, Zach Jacobs, Willy Wheeler, Edward Willette and Jake Hexberg scored goals for the Breakers, who led, 2-0, at the half.

"We got off to a great start with Rory's goal," Richard said of Saunders' score, which came after the senior won the ball in Laguna's defensive third before driving forward and continued his run before calmly planting the ball into the goal.

"Zach Jacobs was strong throughout the game in the center of midfield and took his chance very well," Richards said. "Willy's header and Hexberg's finish were both extremely well taken, and Eddie [Willette] did a good job following up and pressuring to get his goal.

"Despite scoring five [goals], we still missed some very good opportunities and will need to be a little more prolific in front of the goal come league play. Overall, the team did well controlling the tempo for most of the game from strong performances by our midfielders and outside backs, pushing up the field, especially in the second half."

In addition to their 3 p.m. league opener next Wednesday at Saddleback, the Breakers open their league home schedule Jan. 17, hosting Estancia at 6:30 p.m. at Guyer Field.

Godinez won the OCL title a year ago. Saddleback finished second, and Estancia was third.

Laguna qualified for the playoffs last year as an at-large team from the OCL.

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