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Corona del Mar claims third straight Pacific Coast League title
IRVINE- Continuing a promising recent trend of strong team play, No. 7 Corona del Mar emphatically close the door on its’ third straight Pacific Coast League title.
Shelby Brown, Jayden Smith, and Annie Alvarado each scored goals, as the Sea Kings blanked the University Trojans 3-0 in the Pacific Coast League finale Friday at Irvine High.
“We played to our game plan the last four games and its’ been a total team effort,” Sea Kings coach Bryan Middleton said. “We’re keeping possession of the ball, moving forward with pace, and getting and finishing our opportunities.”
Corona del Mar (15-3-4; 7-1-2) finishes two points ahead of second place Northwood, who finished league play with a record of 6-2-2. University (10-5-4; 5-3-2) earned third place and the final automatic berth in the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs, which begin next week.
Since losing to Northwood 2-0 on January 29th, the Sea Kings have won four straight matches by a combined score of 16-2.
“We had a little down spell in the middle of league,” Alvarado said. "But we’ve turned it around with hard work and have come out of it a better team.”
The Sea Kings moved the ball well early in the match and managed to possess well into the attacking third.
Corona del Mar took a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute. Following a Trojans foul, Brown twisted a free kick from the side that was knocked away from the goal on a dive to the right by Trojans senior goalie Coryna Ogenseitan.
But the center referee ruled that the ball had crossed over the goal line before Ogenseitan knocked it away and awarded the score to Corona del Mar.
The Sea Kings defense limited the Trojans offense to one shot on goal in the first half and didn’t allow University to find any consistent ball movement or scoring chances.
Corona del Mar added to the lead in the 34th minute, as Smith made a strong run down the sideline and tapped a shot that rolled to the right of Ogenseitan and into the back of the net.
University’s best scoring chance of the match came in the 47th minute, as senior Caroline Famiglietti lined a shot the ricocheted off the far post. Famiglietti had another chances a few seconds later, but her second shot attempt sailed wide of the near post.
The Trojans suffered key injuries throughout the second half, as junior Sam Solomon (nose), sophomore Hannah Ghamari (right ankle), and senior Summer Deeb (head) were all forced to leave the match and did not return.
Alvarado, who has been working herself back into the lineup after an injury to her right groin earlier in the season, capped the scoring for Corona del Mar in the 66th minute by booting a shot into the far post corner of the goal.
“I’m definitely 100 percent better and ready to go full throttle for CIF,” Alvarado said.
Trojans coach Dominic Frantantaro outlined a simple approach for the Trojans to regroup heading into the CIF playoffs.
“For us, it’s a matter of pride,” Fratantaro said. “We need to get back to having fun and gelling as a team.”