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Hart soccer beaten in So Cal Regional

Posted: March 11, 2014 10:28 p.m.
Updated: March 11, 2014 10:28 p.m.

After 28 games, four months and a whole lot of historical accomplishments, Hart girls soccer didn’t quite have the energy for one more rally.

Playing in its first state regional playoff game in school history, the Hart Indians lost 5-2 to the Santa Margarita Eagles on Tuesday in the first round of the CIF Southern California Regional Soccer Division II playoffs at Santa Margarita High.

The loss officially ends Hart’s season at 18-6-4 following the team’s Foothill League title and an appearance in the CIF-Southern Section Division II championship game on Saturday.

That was the Indians’ first time playing in a sectional title game since 1999.

But on Tuesday against the CIF-SS Division I champion Eagles (15-3-3), Hart fell behind big early and never recovered.

“(Santa Margarita) was a little more focused and they wanted it a little bit more from the beginning,” said Hart head coach Guilherme Mitrovitch. “We fought and we battled like we always do, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the bad start.”

Santa Margarita scored twice in the opening 10 minutes of the game and added a third goal at the 25-minute mark to boost the lead to 3-0.

Both teams had plenty of opportunities to score, but Hart in particular struggled to take advantage of its chances when it needed to in the first half.

Part of the reason for the offensive struggles could have been attributed to the fact that one Hart’s key offensive weapons, Destinney Duron, played only a portion of the game as she was still recovering from a minor concussion suffered during Saturday’s game.

The Indians managed to close the gap to 3-1 by halftime after Sophie Cortes converted a penalty kick that was awarded when Hart’s Anna Sarno was fouled on her way to the goal.

“That first half could have finished 3-3,” Mitrovich said of Hart’s multitude of opportunities.

From there, the Eagles put the game out of reach by extending their lead to 5-1.

Cortes scored Hart’s final goal of the season via an assist from Laura Sega with 15 minutes left in the game.

Cortes and Sega are two of seven seniors who completed their Hart soccer careers on Tuesday. Nearly all of those seniors are starters and key players.

“I’m disappointed in the result today, but all year long those girls gave me everything,” Mitrovich said. “They fought as a group. They played as a team. Our goal in the beginning of the year was fulfilled. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy.”


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