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County's Division I Powers Are Content

February 13, 2001|MELANIE NEFF

For the first time in several years, the Division I girls' soccer coaches have nothing to complain about. The consensus is that they are happy with this year's Southern Section playoff pairings. And with only seven county teams competing in the Division I playoffs, there don't figure to be any first-round surprises.

In the first round last year, fourth-seeded Aliso Niguel was upset by Marina, which was ranked seventh in the county at the time. The year before, top-seeded Capistrano Valley was knocked out in the first round by 10th-ranked Esperanza.

"No one can complain this year," Capistrano Valley Coach Jack Peterson said. "They spread out the county teams really well. For the first time most of us are going to face out-of-county opponents until the late rounds."

The Cougars were one of eight county teams to earn seedings in the five divisions. Capistrano Valley (14-2-5), the defending Division I champion, drew the No. 2 seeding and will host the winner of the wild-card game between Saddleback and Long Beach Wilson in the first round on Friday.

Aliso Niguel (18-3-1) is seeded No. 3 and will host Santa Ana in the first round.

Esperanza (13-4-5) is unseeded, but the Aztecs will host Moreno Valley Valley View on Friday.

Arcadia, the top-seeded team, defeated Capistrano Valley and tied Mission Viejo earlier this season. Rancho Cucamonga is seeded fourth.

Mission Viejo, despite closing out its regular season with ties against El Toro and San Clemente, was awarded the No. 1 seeding in Division II. The Diablos (13-1-6), who won the Division I title in 1998, appear to have an easy run to the semifinals. They host La Mirada in the first round.

Woodbridge (14-1-5), the county's top-ranked team, is seeded third and opens with the winner of the wild-card game between El Dorado and Cerritos.

Loara drew a wild-card bid but must play at Newport Harbor (10-6-4) on Wednesday. The Sailors, ranked No. 9 in the county, finished third in the tough Sea View League.

There were no surprises in Division III, where Santa Margarita (15-2-2), the county's No. 2 team, drew the No. 1 seeding and is expected to win its fourth section title.

Brea Olinda (19-4-3), which was undefeated in Orange League play, was awarded the No. 2 seeding and will host the winner of the wild-card game between Pomona Garey and Apple Valley.

As expected in Division IV, Corona del Mar (23-1-3), the county's sixth-ranked team, was given the No. 1 seeding.

Northwood, playing its first year of varsity soccer, qualified for the Division IV playoffs with a third-place finish in the Pacific Coast League.

Orange Lutheran (17-4-5), which posted the best record in school history, earned the No. 3 seeding in Division V.

St. Margaret's (15-8-1), the Academy League's top team, is unseeded but will host Redlands Arrowhead Christian in the first round. And Fairmont (15-3-1), a team that went 0-15-2 last season, is making its first playoff appearance, hosting Gardena Serra on Friday.

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Final Orange County Sportswriters' Poll


Pos. School (League) Rec 1. Woodbridge (Sea View) 14-1-5 2. Santa Margarita (Serra) 15-2-2 3. Mission Viejo (S. Coast) 13-1-6 4. Capistrano Valley (S. Coast) 14-2-5 5. Edison (Sunset) 19-1-5 6. Corona del Mar (P. Coast) 23-1-3 7. Aliso Niguel (S. View) 18-3-1 8. Sunny Hills (Freeway) 23-0-4 9. Newport Harbor (S. View) 10-6-4 10. Brea Olinda (Orange) 19-4-3


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