Bill Rolfing called it a "monumental match" when his Laguna Beach High girls' soccer team took on visiting Calvary Chapel Monday in a key Orange Coast League matchup.
It was a huge game, indeed, for the Breakers who had a shot at claiming a rare feat: winning a league championship. They did just that, by taking a 1-0 victory what turned out to be a special Senior Night at Guyer Field.
The title was delivered in the game's 25th minute from a corner kick by senior Katelyn Carballo was redirected by junior Paige Vitolo who found a waiting Janie Crawford, and Crawford, a junior, slammed in what turned out to be the winning goal from close range.
Laguna won its sixth-straight game, a streak in which the Breakers defense registered five shutouts and allowed only one goal.
The victory, combined with an Estancia loss earlier in the day Monday, put Laguna in first place. The Breakers ended league and regular-season play Wednesday by playing host Costa Mesa to a scoreless tie, but the outcome still allowed them to capture just the second league title in the 33-year history of the Laguna girls' soccer program.
Laguna's first league title was won in 2012.
The Breakers ended league play 7-1-2, and head into the postseason with an overall record of 12-5-4.
Rolfing said the seven league victories establishes a new single-season record for league wins, and the 12 wins ties the 1997 squad for most wins in a single season.
Yes, Monday's match was monumental.
"One of our collected best efforts," Rolfing said of his team's performance. "Johana Abarca had a brilliant performance on the field as both a midfielder and forward."
Abarca was one of four seniors celebrated Monday, joining classmates Camille Arredondo, Emma Barker and Tessa Hopper.
In a league match Feb. 6, Laguna used second-half goals and another stingy defensive performance to blank Godinez, 2-0. Sophomore Chiara Noppenberger headed in a goal in the 55th minute, and Crawford scored from long range in the 70th minute.
The Breakers closed out their regular-season home schedule in style Tuesday by rolling to a 6-0 Orange Coast League victory over visiting Calvary Chapel on Senior Night at Guyer Field.
Willy Wheeler led the scoring with two goals and Charlie Warner, Jacob Kunkal, Chris Tellez and Rufus Barkley each scored once as the Breakers improved to 6-2-1 in league, good for second place, and 9-6-4 overall.
The Breakers, who still had a shot at a possible league championship, played Costa Mesa in their league finale Thursday. The outcome wasn't available at press time.
"It was great to see so many people come and watch tonight's game to support our seniors and the entire team," Laguna Coach Dan Richards said. "Our final home league game is always a special night with the parents of our senior players being escorted to the field by their sons as we recognize these young gentlemen's achievements.
"Of course, winning the game by such a comfortable score line is never a bad thing and we knew the quality of our roster should always have been able to ensure the victory."
Laguna held control by halftime where it led, 4-0, and was on its way to clinching an automatic CIF Southern Section playoff berth.
"The actual flow of the game wasn't the best and the extreme fog made the conditions very had to truly play an attractive game of soccer," said Richards whose team bounced back from a 2-0 loss Feb. 7 to league-leading Godinez (6-0-3). "The goals we scored were well taken and was great to see some unfamiliar names on the score sheet."
"It's the first time in a very long time the team has guaranteed itself a playoff spot with a game to spare, and is still in the running to win league going into the final game."