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Daniels helps Santa Margarita ride momentum to victory
CORONA – A humbled Chuck Morales hoisted a CIF-SS championship plaque for the seventh time Saturday night.
In reflection, the Santa Margarita girls soccer coach noted that such accomplishments don’t happen without great players.
There were marvelous performances all over the field for the Eagles on Saturday, and they produced a 3-1 win over Tesoro in the CIF-SS Division 1 final at Corona High.
Kristin Daniels scored two goals, Caitlin Ramirez added one and Christina Kosmala made 11 saves as the Eagles (19-5-2) won their second title in three years.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic,” senior midfielder Machaela George said. “I’m blessed to have such great girls (for teammates). It’s an incredible team, and I’m so happy that we made it this far again.”
Title games often provide waves of momentum. It worked to the Eagles’ advantage late in the first half. Chloe Boice boomed a 45-yard free-kick on goal. Samantha Cude (six saves) punched it out. The initial rebound attempt was blocked by Ally Cook, but Daniels was there to guide it home.
“I just remember it bouncing off and thinking, ‘I have to get it in,’ so I just touched it in,” said Daniels, who called the strength of Boice’s leg “insane.”
The goal gave the Eagles the lead over the Titans (22-6-3) at the break.
Santa Margarita came out lightning-quick to start the second half. In the 42nd minute, Madison Curry headed another Boice lob across goal to Ramirez to make it 2-0.
Daniels struck again in the 45th minute to make it 3-0.
“(Title matches) are a game of emotion, and boy did we ride the emotion when we scored those three goals. They’re all excited,” said Morales, who has never lost in the CIF-SS finals. “I am just humbled by all of this. To be in another final, and to be successful.”
In the 57th minute, Tesoro’s Selah Gilmore scored off a free kick by Madi Cook.
It was Tesoro’s first championship game appearance since 2006. Both teams have qualified for the Southern California Regionals.