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Notebook / Alan Drooz : New Harbor College Soccer Team Starts at the Bottom: Needs Players

July 23, 1987|Alan Drooz

Donna Mardesic is looking for a few good women--and they don't have to be all that good--to play soccer at Harbor College this fall.

The school decided in the spring to add men's and women's soccer and gave Mardesic and new men's Coach Ron Davies the go-ahead to recruit in mid-June. That gave her about a week to contact area high schools to try to spread the word.

The late start in recruiting was particularly acute on the women's side because there are only three feeder schools in Harbor's district that play soccer--Miraleste, Rolling Hills and Palos Verdes. So far Mardesic, a longtime player, youth coach and referee, has corralled three of her former American Youth Soccer Assn. players, including daughter Vesna, and has several more probables. Three more of her AYSO players opted for the powerful program at rival El Camino College.

Mardesic is taking a slow-and-steady approach and admits she doesn't figure her team will be able to go toe-to-toe with El Camino right away, though they'll play each other. So she's looking for athletes who want a chance to play and have a trailblazing attitude. The main attribute, she says, will be persistence.

"I would like to see the program get off the ground and let the girls know it's available," she said. "We have a schedule, we have a field. Everything is ready except the bodies. I feel it's in the community's best interest to have more women's teams, and El Camino agrees. I would just like to have El Camino's overflow. Being competitive is not an issue for me right now. I like to win, I'm very competitive. But what's more important to me is to start a program and let it grow. Fielding a team is our goal."

In that pursuit, Mardesic--who is a full-time recruiter for the school--is spreading the word person to person. "I'm doing it word of mouth, contacting coaches, people I've refereed. If it doesn't go, it's not because I didn't tell everybody I know."

Harbor will start training on Aug. 25 and play its first game Sept. 15 against Golden West College. The team will compete in the Southern California Athletic Conference.

Mardesic has been in the forefront of nearly every new wrinkle in girls soccer in the South Bay. She was one of the first to play, and she started coaching the first AYSO girls team in San Pedro because "I got tired of carting my daughters all over the Peninsula." Later she became one of the first female professional officials. As an adult she continued her education at Harbor College and played on the tennis team. "They all called me 'Mom.' "

Now her biggest challenge is to field 11 able bodies by mid-September, just in time to take some lumps while growing. "El Camino's gonna clobber us but I don't care," Mardesic said with a laugh. "I've been in that position before."

Cal State Dominguez Hills baseball Coach Andy Lopez has signed nine more players for the 1987-88 season, including six junior college transfers. The latest Toro signees are left-handed pitchers Sonny Griffin out of Lakewood High and Dave Webb from Colton High. The other high school recruit is outfielder Vic Fresca from Ocean View.

Four of the junior college transfers are outfielders: Bob Gonzales from Harbor College and formerly Cal Poly Pomona, Frank Meza from Long Beach City College, Lenny Hokanson from College of the Canyons and Jim Troup from Fullerton College.

Rick Davis, a transfer from Mt. San Antonio College, split time there at pitcher and shortstop. The other signee is power-hitting infielder Ruben Jauregui, who set a record last year at El Camino College, batting .437.

The latest signings bring Lopez's total to 17, eight coming from high schools that won league titles last season.

"This group (of latest recruits) is a bit more experienced than the first group with six of them coming in from junior colleges," Lopez said. "Obviously, while we hope the freshmen can come in and contribute, we expect this group of junior college players to produce for us immediately."

Dominguez Hills is coming off its most successful season, a 43-15 record, Western Regional title and an appearance in the Division II World Series. The Toros graduated a large portion of their starting lineup, including outfielders Fred Hanker and Jon Beuder--who set nearly every team hitting record--and ace pitcher Mike Aspray. All signed pro contracts.

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