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Maynard's 'Miraculous' Stops Save Day for Brea


Funny how the same result can offer two completely different perspectives.

Fourth-seeded Brea Olinda was almost giddy about its scoreless tie in the Southern Section Division III boys' soccer final at La Mirada High Saturday afternoon. Second-seeded Santa Barbara, which had most of the prime opportunities, couldn't have been more bitter.

"We feel like the effort we put in was a little more than our opponent," Santa Barbara Coach Todd Heil said. "All you keep thinking is you tied the game and you should have won."

Santa Barbara (27-1-4) probably would have won if not for the spectacular play of Brea goalkeeper Mike Maynard, who was playing with a badly sprained left knee. Maynard turned away two first-half shots by midfielder Gerardo Rodriguez and another in the last minute by forward Johnny Alcaraz. All three shots appeared headed for the back of the net.

Rodriguez's left-footed free kick from the right wing was hooking inside the near post when Maynard batted it away at the last instant.

"I was going to start celebrating," Rodriguez said of his shot in the eighth minute. "I can't believe he got there."

Rodriguez was perplexed again five minutes later when Maynard caught his left-footed volley from five yards away.

"If I had more time," Rodriguez said, "I'd have put more on it."

If Alcaraz had more steam on his header in the 79th minute, he might have given the Dons a thrilling last-minute victory. But his high, looping shot was tipped away by the sprawled-out Maynard.

"Those were some miraculous saves," Heil said.

Maynard said the last save was the toughest, especially since his team was playing a man down after Brea defender Brett Roth was given a red card in the 73rd minute.

"Knowing everything was on the line and we were a man down made it nerve-racking at the end," said Maynard, who was wearing a brace on his knee.

Maynard, who recorded his 19th shutout and fifth of the playoffs, had six saves in all. Santa Barbara goalkeeper Vicente Torres wasn't nearly as busy. He had two saves and he never touched a shot that Brea midfielder Brandon Young sent off the crossbar midway through the first half.

Brea (26-1-4) had only one shot on goal in the second half. But no one on Brea's side seemed too surprised about that.

"I knew we'd either win 1-0 or tie 0-0," Maynard said. "That's how we play."

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