23rd Annual Excalibur Tournament
County Teams Participating: Beckman, Canyon, Capistrano Valley, Edison, Esperanza, Foothill, Laguna Hills, Los Alamitos, Mater Dei, Mission Viejo, Orange Lutheran, San Clemente, Tesoro, Trabuco Hills, Yorba Linda
Non-County Teams Participating: Buena, Bishop O’ Dowd, Cathedral Catholic, Chaminade, Chatsworth, Coronado, La Costa Canyon, Long Beach Poly, Long Beach Wilson, Los Osos, Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks, Santa Ynez Valley, Stockdale, Temecula Valley, Walnut, Westview, Xavier College Prep/Arizona
First Round Schedule:
(All games scheduled for Esperanza, Capistrano Valley, Yorba Linda High Schools)
8:00AM: Chaminade vs. Trabcuo Hills (at Yorba Linda); Long Beach Wilson vs. La Costa Canyon (at Esperanza); Xavier College Prep vs. Tesoro (at Capistrano Valley)
9:30 AM: Chatsworth vs. Capistrano Valley (at Capistrano Valley); San Clemente vs. Yorba Linda (at Yorba Linda); Los Alamitos vs. Esperanza (At Esperanza)
11:00AM: Mission Viejo vs. Los Osos (at Esperanza); Coronado vs. Canyon (at Yorba Linda); Edison vs. Notre Dame (At Capistrano Valley)
12:30PM: Orange Lutheran vs. Buena (at Capistrano Valley); Beckman vs. Cathedral Catholic (at Esperanza); Walnut vs. Bishop O’Dowd (at Yorba Linda)
2:00PM: Mater Dei vs. Stockdale (at Esperanza)
3:30PM: Westview vs. Santa Ynez Valley (at Capistrano Valley); Temecula Valley vs. Long Beach Poly (at Esperanza)
5:00PM: Laguna Hills vs. Foothill (at Yorba Linda)
My Top Three County Contenders:
No. 7 Capistrano Valley: The Cougars have gotten off to a fast start, winning five of their first seven matches. Among their victories are shutout wins over San Clemente and Santa Margarita, both of which were ranked when the Cougars defeated them. Keeping the Cougars from scoring multiple goals is a key, as Capistrano Valley is a perfect 5-0 when they score two or more goals. Senior Alex Hussar has scored a team-best six goals, with sophomore Jennifer Munoz recording a team-best five assists.
No. 8 Los Alamitos: The Griffins enjoyed a solid week of action last week, winning three of their five matches and advancing to the semifinals of the Mater Dei Premier Invitational. Los Alamitos has been involved in tight matches as of late, as six of their last seven matches have been decided by a goal or less. Senior Raya Young has sparked the offense thus far this season, tallying a team-high seven goals in regulation.
No. 9 Orange Lutheran: The Lancers come into the tournament on a nice roll. Since losing their only match of the season to No. 8 Los Alamitos on December 8th, the Lancers are 8-0-1. That stretch includes a perfect 4-0 record at the Claremont Holiday Classic, where Orange Lutheran outscored its opposition 16-2. Can they keep it up against a talented tournament field?
My Three Other Teams to Watch:
No. 6 Esperanza: The Aztecs lost two of their first three matches this season, but have since reeled off a quality stretch, going undefeated in six straight matches (4-0-2). Esperanza’s defense has been solid during the recent run of strong play, having only allowed two goals in those six matches. The Aztecs will get tested early in the tournament with a match against former Sunset League archrival Los Alamitos in the first round.
No. 10 Canyon: The Comanches were tournament finalists last season, falling to La Costa Canyon 2-1 in the title match. Eight of the team’s 10 matches this season have been decided by a goal or less. Sophomore Mikayla Arcebido has emerged as a spark on offense, scoring a team-high five goals. Canyon is 1-0-1 in matches against teams ranked in the county top 10 at the time they played them this season.
Edison: The Chargers started the season with a 3-0-1 record, but have lost two of its last three. Edison boasts a talented roster and it wouldn’t surprise me if they used this tournament to get back to playing quality soccer before league play begins in a couple of weeks.
1990 Simi Valley
1991 El Toro
1996 La Costa Canyon
1998 Capistrano Valley
1999 Capistrano Valley
2000 Mission Viejo
2001 Santa Margarita
2002 Dana Hills
2003 San Clemente
2004 N/A – Rained Out
2005 Cathedral Catholic
2007 Los Alamitos
2008 San Clemente
2009 Mission Viejo
2010 Los Osos
2011 La Costa Canyon