Pacifica strikes late to beat Costa Mesa


COSTA MESA - For 80 minutes, the Pacifica boys soccer team tried but failed to score. In the first minute of stoppage time, Nelson Chacon gave it another shot, sending a corner kick flying toward the far post.

The Mariners always have three players running toward the goal on that type of set piece. Jacob Odell’s job is to run to the post. That is what he did Wednesday at Estancia, and he leaped high as the ball headed toward him.

What happened next Odell described as “completely mind blowing.”

The ball smacked him in the back, near his right shoulder, and deflected into the goal to deliver the winner in a 1-0 victory against Costa Mesa in a wild-card match of the CIF-SS Division 4 playoffs.

The Mariners (9-8-5) will play at No. 4 seed Bellflower in a first-round game Friday.

“I put it away, and I am just so happy,” Odell said. “They (Costa Mesa) were good going forward, but we held them off all game.”

After the match, an emotially drained Pacifica coach Cole Fipps let out a huge sigh of relief as he collapsed onto the Mariners’ bench.

“This feels really good. especially after a game like that,” Fipps said. “Costa Mesa played well, but that is what you expect in the playoffs. You know every game is going to be a battle.”

Less than a minute after Odell’s goal, Cesar Villanueva took a free kick for Costa Mesa from just outside the box, his shot hitting a scrum of players in front of the goal. The ball made it to Daniel Vargas, who volleyed a shot that was deflected inches wide of the far post.

“Defense is the reason why we are in this position,” Fipps said. “We know we are in every game because we have a defense that will back us up. I couldn’t be happier or more proud of them. It just feels right for them to get this playoff win.”

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