A young Laguna Beach High girls' soccer team showed a glimpse of its future potential by turning in strong performances over the final two weeks of the 2012-13 regular season.
In the last three games of the Orange Coast League season, the Breakers didn't lose a match and started the late run with an inspiring, shutout road victory over league-leader Godinez on Jan. 31. They followed that up with another shutout win Monday at Calvary Chapel, and on Wednesday, battled visiting Costa Mesa to a scoreless tie on senior night at Guyer Field.
Laguna ended the regular season on a six-game unbeaten streak. The Breakers went 3-3-4 during league competition with all three losses coming by a single goal.
"Three early-season, one-goal losses will haunt this very young squad, but the team's recent surge into the playoff picture has been exciting and rewarding," Laguna Coach Bill Rolfing said.
Laguna knocked off previously undefeated Godinez, 1-0, at Centennial Park in Santa Ana in a victory that Rolfing called "one for the ages." It came against a Grizzlies squad that was ranked No. 10 in CIF Southern Section Division 4.
Senior team captain Sarah Hewlett set up the winning score in the 70th minute. Hewlett delivered a 30-yard cross to a streaking Johana Abarca, who then planted a shot into the upper-left corner of the goal.
Sophomore keeper Kylie George had a "spectacular afternoon," Rolfing said, and finished with 10 saves. Her final stop came in the 80th minute that preserved the win.
Laguna returned to Centennial Park Monday to take on Calvary Chapel and, showed that there would be not letdown following the big win against Godinez. The Breakers, whom Rolfing said "exhibited some of their best passing" of the season, blanked the Eagles, 2-0.
"The victory was the result of team passing through the midfield with [Johana] Abarca combining with [freshmen] Chiara Noppenberger, Katelyn Carballo and Summer Stanaland," Rolfing said.
Stanaland took scoring honors for the Breakers. She netted goals in the 30th and 70th minutes.
Veteran defenders Tessa Hopper and sisters Sarah and sophomore Amy Hewlett, shut down the Calvary Chapel attack. Sophomores Janie Crawford and Audrey Pillsbury were strong on the attack with solid support coming from veteran player Emma Barker.
"The rebound that this team has experienced in the last two weeks and the last two shutout victories, has meant the world to a team that is loaded with underclassmen and graduates just two next June," Rolfing said. "This 'rebuilding year' has transformed into an exciting new era and a fine team that will be around for a while."
The CIF Southern Section girls' soccer playoff pairings will be announced Monday. Playoff games start Tuesday.
The Breakers evened their Orange Coast League record at 3-3-3 Tuesday with a 5-2 win over Calvary Chapel at Centennial Park.
Reece Barton scored twice and Chris Tellez, Jake Hexberg and Noah Garrett scored goals for Laguna, which improved to 8-3-5 overall.
"The most important thing about this game was to get the win," Laguna Coach Dan Richards said. "It wasn't our best performance, but the boys did enough and scored [on] some well taken goals."
In a league match played Feb. 1, Laguna and Godinez played to a scoreless tie at Centennial Park.
"I was extremely proud of how the lads approached this game and competed throughout," Richards said. "Godinez is a very good team and controlled a lot of the game. The level of focus from the team and how they worked collectively in defense was a great to see.