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Soccer: Breakers fall just shy

Laguna Beach girls' soccer season ends after 1-0 loss; boys also finish campaign after rough setback.

February 27, 2014|By Mike Sciacca
(KEVIN CHANG, Coastline…)

Coming off a spirited opening-round victory in the CIF Southern Section Division 4 girls' soccer playoffs, the Laguna Beach High Breakers had the rare luxury of hosting a second postseason game Wednesday. Backed by a supportive home crowd, the Breakers were looking to register another playoff win, like the one they had scored five days earlier against Ontario Chaffey.

In a low-scoring contest at Guyer Field, Laguna was unable to generate any scoring against visiting Phelan Serrano, and the 10th-ranked Breakers came just short in a 1-0 loss to the fourth-ranked Diamondbacks.

The game's only score came roughly eight minutes into the contest, when a bad-bounce deflection trickled into the Laguna net.

"It was a strange play," Laguna Coach Bill Rolfing said. "The collision between their best player (Kellsie Gleason) and our goalie (junior Kylie George), then the ball deflecting off a bunch of players and into the goal, was just one of those things.

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"We played so well, particularly in the second half. We had more shots on goal than they did, but we just couldn't get the ball into the net."

Laguna, champion of the Orange Coast League, earned the right to face Serrano by blanking visiting Chaffey, 2-0, Feb. 21. Rolfing called the win a "well-balanced match" for the Breakers

"The defense once again stood solid and denied the Chaffey attack to gain momentum," he said. "Pressure up high in the offensive third of the field allowed [Laguna] to control 80% of the play. The nerves of a first-round match disappeared quickly once the offense got in motion.

A first-half corner kick by Laguna freshman Regan Caraher was headed in to the Chaffey net at the 30-minute mark. The score would give the Breakers a 1-0 lead at halftime. After withstanding a few offensive threats in the final 15 minutes by Chaffey, the Breakers sealed the win with an outstanding individual effort by Caraher, who volleyed a deflection into the Chaffey net from 18 yards for a 2-0 lead with three minutes remaining.

Sophomore Katelyn Carballo, junior Audrey Pillsbury and senior Johana Abarca sparked Laguna's midfield play with junior Paige Vitolo applying pressure up top with freshmen Greer Jacobs and Christine Johnson. The Breakers defense was led by George in goal and the sophomores Summer Stanaland and Chiara Noppenberger, junior Amy Hewlett, senior Tessa Hopper and freshman Autumn Geil.

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