remnants of fire retardant that blew into the pool from a nearby
construction site at the school.
If it's not accepted, Claessens could say she penned a perfect script
Wednesday as she scored two goals and added two assists to lead the
Falcons to a 7-4 nonleague victory against visiting Royal High.
The junior utility player, who hadn't competed in a match since Dec.
13 and became ill Christmas Day, regained her strength against a
formidable Royal squad minus the debris which found its way into the pool
with the help of the recent howling Santa Ana winds.
"This was a good team effort, and the break did us some good,"
Claessens said. "I couldn't practice much being sick for three days. When
we practiced, the pool water was dirty and we were spitting out pieces of
Styrofoam. Every time we kicked in the water, the fire retardant would
rise to the surface."
It could have been worse. At least the pool wasn't filled with
alligators, snakes and catfish.
The Falcons (14-1) received two goals apiece from Claessens and Megan
Winchell. Debbie Snyder, D.D. Little and Jessie Stiles scored one goal
each for CV, which will next participate today against Santa Monica in
the three-day Western Tournament at Kennedy High in Granada Hills.
Perhaps the long lay off periodically contributed to several defensive
lapses by CV, which allowed Royal numerous close-up shots.
Royal hit the post seven times, a concern of CV Coach Peter Kim.
"We got lucky." Kim said. "We have to do a better job of getting back
on defense and minimizing the point-blank shots. Laura can do a lot of
things for us, and she used her size to her advantage on offense and
defense. She's one of our top defenders."
Claessens' second goal gave the Falcons a 3-1 lead with six minutes,
34 seconds left in the second quarter. CV goalkeeper Amy Brunton finished
with eight saves.