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Lady Toros Are Hoping for Soccer Playoff Berth

October 29, 1987|ALAN DROOZ

Cal State Dominguez Hills soccer Coach Marine Cano will be sitting by the phone Sunday night, and in this case no news will be bad news.

His women's team goes into the last weekend of the season ranked third on the West Coast behind UC Berkeley and UC Santa Barbara and tied with Santa Clara. The season ends with an eight-team tournament at Santa Barbara where the Lady Toros' games against Puget Sound and Southern Methodist, coupled with the other results, will go a long way toward determining who is selected for the NCAA regionals. That's the call Cano will be awaiting Sunday. Last year the Toros never got the call despite having the second-best record in the West.

The Lady Toros are 11-4-1 and have won seven straight games, six by shutout. "We're in the same situation as last year--but worse," Cano said. "We played Cal and lost, played Santa Barbara and lost, played St. Mary's and lost. We defeated Santa Clara. What helps is the strength of our schedule. If they take two (from the West) we're in trouble. If Santa Barbara loses both (tournament games) they might take three. That would probably be us. We've got to win our last two games, no doubt about it."

The Lady Toros will be without star midfielder Kristine White, out with torn knee ligaments, but the big second-half story has been the defense, sparked by back Mandy Robertson and transplanted goalie Lynor Johnson. Johnson was shifted from forward to goal in a desperation move by Cano. She has allowed only one goal in six starts.

"We had to make a change in goal. She's quick, strong, very smart. She has a good personality for goal because she talks a lot," Cano said. "She's had to learn right off the bat but she's doing quite well. I think she's the key to our success. If she can make a couple of saves this weekend we'll do well."

Cano said Johnson doesn't greatly enjoy life in goal and will return to forward next season. "One thing she's learned is this is a team, not an individual situation," Cano said. "She's made a big sacrifice. I think the girls appreciate it."

Other teams in the tournament are host Santa Barbara, Berkeley, George Mason, Colorado College and Adelphi. Each team plays twice.

Then they sit by the phone, hoping the NCAA will reach out and touch.

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