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League-ending loss to Lancers costs girls soccer league co-title

 

Last updated 3/22/2007 at Noon



Fallbrook High School’s girls soccer team was tied for the lead in the Avocado League standings prior to the Warriors’ final game of the regular season February 15 at Fallbrook, but a 1-0 loss to Carlsbad that day along with a Rancho Buena Vista victory gave the Longhorns the league title and ended Fallbrook’s streak of two consecutive league championships.

“It was a disappointing year for Fallbrook girls considering how dominant we were the last two,” said Fallbrook coach Ted Small.

The Warriors ended the regular season with a 13-7-2 record, including a 6-2-2 mark in Avocado League play. The Warriors started the season with a 7-1 record but won just six of their following 14 games. “Injuries hurt us big-time,” Small said. “Our health went downhill for us right when we started league.”

Although no players suffered season-ending injuries, minor injuries kept various players out of various games. “It’s like a major role player would be hurt every week,” Small said. “Definitely difficult for us, but that’s how soccer is sometimes.”

The Warriors were missing at least one starter for each league game, with the exception of a 5-0 win over El Camino where one of the starters was injured in that game, and sometimes two or three starters. “Last year we went 10 and 0 and had no injuries,”

Small said. “When you stay healthy it’s very easy to get results.”

Most of those injuries were sprains, but several of them were chronic throughout the season. “It just made it that much tougher,” Small said.

The Warriors did not lose any players to academic ineligibility after the semester grades were released. Small, who began coaching the Warrior girls in 2004-05, has not lost a player to academic ineligibility during his coaching career.

Small and boys coach Andy DeSouza both noted the effects of the stadium field, which was not renovated after the football season since the school district expects to install an artificial surface field following the conclusion of spring sports. “It was definitely difficult because of how terrible the field was,” Small said.

The regular-season results gave Fallbrook the seventh seed in the CIF Division I playoffs; Small had hoped for a higher seed but understood the significance of the loss to Carlsbad in the playoff seeding process.

“This year was difficult for us,” Small said.

Small expects to return 14 seniors from the varsity for the 2007-08 season. “When you lose your first league title in the last three years, you’re pretty hungry to grab it back,” he said.

 

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