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Quartz Hill Makes Little Go Long Way

Division II boys' soccer: Rebels make the most of their few opportunities in 3-0 victory over Rio Mesa.


OXNARD — Rio Mesa High learned a painful lesson Wednesday.

In soccer, the winner isn't always the team who takes the most shots, controls the flow of play and plays the prettiest game.

The winner capitalizes on the most scoring opportunities.

The Spartans dominated much of their second-round Division II boys' playoff game against Quartz Hill, but failed to finish any of their scoring opportunities.

The Rebels made the most of their few chances and registered a 3-0 victory at Rio Mesa.

The Spartans were shocked.

"It just wasn't our day," said midfielder Chris High of Rio Mesa. "We couldn't get a break. We dominated. We were connecting. We were playing around them. We just couldn't get it. It's unlucky."

Quartz Hill, which was outshot, 17-5, got seven saves from goalkeeper Ian McClung, lifting the Rebels into Friday's quarterfinals against Mater Dei, which beat Villa Park, 4-0.

With Rio Mesa (14-9-2) forcing Quartz Hill to play on their heels throughout the first 25 minutes, the Rebels got a big break.

Goalkeeper Jonathon Johnen of Rio Mesa let a routine shot by Nick Angellilo roll through his hands, giving the Rebels a 1-0 lead in the 26th minute.

"The goal came at a good time, but everybody starting picking it up right before that," said midfielder Mark Cipolla of Quartz Hill. "[Rio Mesa] came out and wanted it. Then we started to want it."

The Rebels (24-2-2) got more help from the Spartans in the 34th minute.

Johnen bobbled a long throw-in from Kyle Lympany and Cipolla headed the loose ball across the goal line for a 2-0 lead.

Scott Hazard scored less than five minutes later for a 3-0 halftime lead.

Rio Mesa played quality soccer by stringing together passes, building attacks from the back and taking high percentage shots but had no luck.

Defender Chris Schwarze had a shot hit the crossbar, High's shot beat McClung but was kicked off the goal line by a defender and forward Jimmy Heathcote missed a penalty kick.

The Rebels usually take twice as many shots as the other team, but used a different game plan against the Spartans, relying on counterattacks.

"I was thinking it was going to be 0-0 at halftime," said Coach Andre Matalon of Quartz Hill. "We wanted to let them play. We wanted to let them [fatigue themselves] in the first half and try to counterattack.

"The second half, we were going to come out and play high pressure, but we didn't need to. We fell back and played keep away."

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