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Calabasas, Moorpark Play to Tie


CERRITOS — After the Southern Section Division V boys' soccer championship match Friday at Gahr High, the opposing teams were a study in contrasts.

Moorpark and Calabasas highs, still tied, 1-1, after two overtime periods, were crowned co-champions.

Calabasas players and coaches celebrated by yelling and jumping all over the field. Moorpark looked as if it had just attended a funeral.

"(My players) felt like losers out there," Moorpark Coach Mike Scanlon said. "We dominated the game and this . . . this is hard to take."

Meanwhile, Calabasas paraded around the field, holding its CIF championship plaque in the air.

The Coyotes had lost three times in the final since 1986, including last year when they fell to Santa Paula.

Calabasas Coach John Reich will take a championship any way he can get it.

"To bring teams here and go home non-winners is hard," he said. "There's no question about it, I'm really excited about this."

Reich said in this case a tie was better than determining the winner in a kickout.

"I've lost on penalty kicks," he said. "The competitor in me would like to have the kickout, but the educator in me thinks this is a reasonable compromise."

The Coyotes ended the season with a 14-3-5 record, while top-seeded Moorpark finished 26-2-2.

Junior halfback Herbie Sirota scored Calabasas' goal on a breakaway with 9:20 left in the first half.

Sirota, the team's assist leader, was upset to see the postgame reaction among Moorpark players.

"Hey, it says champions on it and that's what we came here for," he said referring to the plaque. "We're champions and that's what counts. If they feel like they lost, then they deserve that feeling because they're cocky.'

The Musketeers tied the score a couple of minutes into the second half when Patrick Russo nailed a shot about five feet from the goal after dribbling in that area for a couple of seconds.

"Moorpark is so physical and so quick and it's hard to stay up with them," Reich said. "But I think we clogged up the middle effectively enough."

Calabasas goalie Mike Freedman had 17 saves, four of them in overtime. Moorpark's Aaron Linder had six.

The Frontier League champion Musketeers beat Calabasas once during the regular season and tied the Coyotes when the teams last met before Friday.

Moorpark had never won a Southern Section title in any sport and by the looks of the Musketeer bench, Friday's didn't really count.

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