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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Notre Dame Meets Crespi in Showdown

February 09, 2001|CHRIS SHAFFER | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The Mission League boys' soccer championship will be on the line today when Notre Dame hosts Crespi at 5 p.m.

Notre Dame needs a victory to clinch its first championship since 1992. St. Francis would take second and Loyola third. Crespi would need an at-large bid to compete in the postseason.

If Crespi defeats Notre Dame, St. Francis claims the league title and Notre Dame, Crespi and Loyola finish in a three-way tie for second.

The tiebreaker is points in head-to-head competition. Crespi would take the No. 2 seeding with five points and Notre Dame would be third with four. Loyola would need an at-large bid to reach the postseason.

"This is the biggest game the Mission League has ever seen," Crespi Coach Rob Kodama said. "This is what a soccer player dreams about. This is probably the biggest game in both schools' history."

After breaking his thumb against Notre Dame in the first meeting, defender Shane Fierst will miss the rest of the season for the Celts (16-5-1, 7-4-1 in league play). Midfielder Andrew Magpali will miss the game after drawing a red card earlier this week.

The Knights (12-8-1, 8-2-1), led by Jimmy Sharp and Nick Folk, who each have 12 goals, will be at full strength.

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