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A season that started with high expectations for the Corona del Mar High School boys’ soccer team suddenly came under enormous pressure.

After an explosive offensive run to five straight wins to open the season, the Sea Kings went into a prolonged slump, winning just two over the next five weeks.

Corona Del Mar took a big step to solidify their playoff hopes on Monday with a 3-0 victory over Newport Harbor in the Battle of the Bay game at home.

Newport Harbor's Nate Simmons, 8, and Corona del Mar's Ryan Peloso, 12, will battle for a throw-in on Monday.

Newport Harbor’s Nate Simmons, 8, and Corona del Mar’s Ryan Peloso, 12, will battle for a throw-in on Monday.

(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

The Sea Kings have fallen off the pace in the Surf League, going 10-5 in their last four games. Sunset his conference crossover victory over his crosstown rivals in his play served its purpose. As CdM (8-5-3) marked the first of his two wins he needed in the last two weeks to secure a .500 record in the postseason general slots. am. consideration.

“We’ve been leaking a lot of goals lately,” said CdM coach Eddie Byram. “There were some defensive mistakes, but we had some really good conversations and worked on talking about organization and discipline. The boys were great with that today.

“I think especially Matt Wood, Colin Penne and Luca Faslo were very good at building the back line in midfield, as was Luke Yianni. did not give space for

Corona del Mar players will celebrate their victory in the Battle of the Bay Boys soccer match against Newport Harbor on Monday.

Corona del Mar players will celebrate their victory in the Battle of the Bay Boys soccer match against Newport Harbor on Monday.

(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

With the game going 1-0 in the second half, the final scoreline didn’t tell the whole story. But the celebration of these late goals probably was.

After receiving a pass on the right side from Ianni in the 70th minute, Ali Kanazawa doubled the Sea Kings lead to 2-0 before making a beeline in the stands and sharing the moment with his friends.

In the second half of injury time, Gavin Callum blocked a shot, but Jonathan Chen hit a loose ball and shot into the top left corner. This time, CdM’s sidelines showed up on the field to celebrate the goal and inevitable victory.

Newport Harbor's Jason Hernandez (18) and Corona del Mar's Ali Kanazawa (10) will attempt loose ball possession.

Newport Harbor’s Jason Hernandez (18) and Corona del Mar’s Ali Kanazawa (10) will attempt loose ball possession.

(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

“It’s my favorite place to receive the ball on either side,” Kanazawa said. “It’s one of my most used skills with him, a little kick fake. It was a big game and I had to do it and I wanted to excite myself, the team and the fans.”

Callum produced the first goal of the game after rolling the ball for CdM and intercepting a pass in midfield. His shot curved like a knuckleball and fell under the crossbar, beating Newport his Harbor goalkeeper Joshua He Flores (2 saves) in the 10th minute.

“The keeper was a little closer to the line, and I ran into it trying to stop the knuckleball, so I had to start over and over again,” Callum said. become, [we] Well won. ”

Corona Del Mar's Gavin Callum (16) and Newport Harbor's James Evans will battle for a loose ball in midfield on Monday.

Corona Del Mar’s Gavin Callum (16) and Newport Harbor’s James Evans will battle for a loose ball in midfield on Monday.

(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Newport Harbor (12-4-2) had their best scoring chance in the 16th minute. Marlon Cortez, who showed his ability to keep runs, teamed up with Oliver Hobin inside the 18-yard box. Hobin let go, but Wood (two saves) shot through his chest and went down on the rebound.

“I think we’ve been a little unlucky the last few games,” Callum said. Luckily we have a good group behind us. Luca Faslo is a really good captain. I think it was another mistake. Well, Matt made a great save.

Newport Harbor’s defense, led by centre-backs Luke Dysner and Ryan Magnani, kept the game close at hand until Kanazawa’s second-half marker provided room to breathe.

“I’m happy with how the guys are playing,” said Newport Harbor coach Ignacio Sid. “I love the way they pass. I love everything about them. I love these boys. I’ve been coaching these kids since they were 8. Most kids …I am very proud that they are having an amazing senior year.”

Corona del Mar goalkeeper Matt Wood makes a save during the Bay Boys soccer match against Newport Harbor.

Corona del Mar goalkeeper Matt Wood makes a save during the Bay Boys soccer match against Newport Harbor.

(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

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