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High Schools | SPOTLIGHT ON BOYS' SOCCER

Westlake's Stavro Doesn't Miss a Beat

January 10, 2002

Injuries sidelined Steve Stavro of Westlake Village Westlake High for several games during the first three weeks of the boys' soccer season, but the center forward had become an integral part of the Warriors' offense entering Wednesday night's game against Moorpark.

Strained tendons in his right ankle and a strained abdominal muscle had sidelined Stavro, but he had six goals and an assist in five games of the Simi Valley Royal tournament last week.

"My injuries were gone and my confidence was up," Stavro said when asked about his offensive outburst. "I was able to move about without any limitations."

Stavro was a part-time starter last season on a 7-10-4 Westlake team, but he undertook an off-season training program that included weight lifting and running.

The regimen helped Stavro shed 10 pounds from his 5-foot-11, 185-pound frame, improved the strength in his upper and lower body and left him feeling stronger and faster than he'd ever been.

"He's definitely in better shape," Coach Bill Propster said. "He's always been enthusiastic, but this year he's even more excited about playing soccer."

With eight goals and two assists, Stavro is one of Westlake's top offensive weapons, but he said there were plenty of reasons why Westlake was 11-1-3 entering its match against Moorpark.

"We have a lot of strong players on our team," he said. "Our team is doing pretty good because we have a lot of players playing well together."

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Lucky break: Westlake defeated Woodland Hills El Camino Real in a shootout in the ninth-place game of the Royal tournament, but Propster said the Warriors could have lost that game if not for an incorrect call by a referee that credited Todd Slater with a goal.

According to Propster, Slater took a shot that hit the outside of the goal post and bounced downward on the outward side of the net. But the referee ruled it a goal, giving Westlake a 1-0 lead in a game that was tied, 1-1, after regulation play.

"Their players were saying, 'It's not a goal. It's not a goal,''' Propster said. "And I agreed. I tried to tell the referee that the ball didn't go in, but he didn't seem to want to hear that from me."

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Back in goal: El Camino Real (11-3-3) has been without senior goalkeeper Raul Calderon for 13 games this season, but the defending City Section champions hope to have him for the remainder of the season.

Calderon, who had 19 shutouts as a junior, missed the first seven games of the season while he was rehabilitating a broken foot and missed the last six while he was in Germany, playing with a U.S. Olympic development team.

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Injury report: An MRI exam has revealed that junior forward Matt Basin of Santa Margarita suffered a partial tear of the medial collateral ligament in his right knee during the Puma Invitational tournament in Tampa, Fla., last month.

Basin, an All-Southern Section Division III second-team pick last season, has missed the last 10 games because of the injury, but Coach Curt Bauer hopes to have him back for a Jan. 30 game against Santa Ana Mater Dei, the defending Division II champion.

John Ortega

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