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Marina Finally Kicks Back in Sunset

February 06, 2001|DAN ARRITT

Winning three consecutive games in the competitive Sunset League is a big accomplishment for any of its card-carrying members.

But when Marina defeated Los Alamitos, Esperanza and Edison during an eight-day stretch ending Friday with a 3-1 victory over the Chargers, it was especially noteworthy since the Vikings had only two wins in their previous 35 league games.

Jeff Schofield, who took over the program this season after spending a year as an assistant coach, has the Vikings, ranked 10th in the county, playing well at the right time.

"To be quite honest, I thought from the start we were going to make the playoffs," Schofield said. "I don't think many other people did, but I was surprised when we ended the first round 1-4."

The first half of league play included overtime losses to Huntington Beach and Esperanza and a 2-1 loss to Fountain Valley.

The second round began with a 1-0 victory over previously unbeaten Los Alamitos, the county's sixth-ranked team at the time.

The Vikings then defeated eighth-ranked Esperanza, 2-1, on Wednesday, scoring the go-ahead goal in the 67th minute on a header by center midfielder Roy Phillips.


Several league races are far from settled heading into the final week, including the South Coast League, which features a pivotal game today at Capistrano Valley between top-ranked Dana Hills (7-0-1) and the fifth-ranked Cougars (5-0-2 going into Monday's game).

"We've both seen each other and know how we're going to play," Dana Hills Coach Dennis Korinke said. "There's not going to be any surprises."

Identifying the Pacific Coast League champion isn't so easy. Four teams finished last week within a game of each other, but Costa Mesa (5-2-1) appears to have the most favorable remaining schedule.

The Mustangs had a chance to gain the upper hand Saturday in a make-up game against Estancia (5-2-1), but played to a 0-0 tie.

Los Alamitos (5-1-2 heading into Monday's game) and Huntington Beach (6-2) are expected to settle the Sunset League in their regular-season finale Wednesday at Huntington Beach.

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Orange County Sportswriters' Poll


Pos. School (League) Rec 1. Dana Hills (South Coast) 19-1-3 2. Santa Margarita (Serra) 17-3-3 3. El Dorado (Empire) 19-1-2 4. Mater Dei (Serra) 19-2-4 5. Capistrano Valley (S. Coast) 17-3-5 6. Los Alamitos (Sunset) 15-3-5 7. Huntington Beach (Sunset) 11-4-1 8. Fountain Valley (Sunset) 10-4-6 9. Brea (Orange) 21-1-2 10. Marina (Sunset) 13-6-4


Others: Esperanza (9-4-4), Woodbridge (13-4-4), Sonora (14-4-2), University (10-6-4), Estancia (8-3-3)

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