The Irvine Valley men's soccer team ran into a determined Santa Ana squad Friday afternoon.
IVC had a chance with a win or a tie to claim the Orange Empire Conference title.
Santa Ana played one of its best games of the year in beating the Lasers, 6-1, at Irvine Valley.
Santa Ana, which trailed Irvine Valley by one point for first place heading into the match, won the conference title with the victory.
Give them credit, IVC Coach Martin McGrogan said. â€œWe made mistakes, especially on defense, but they were the better team today.â€
The six goals were the most by far that Irvine Valley had given up this season. The most prior was three goals on three different occasions.
Santa Ana (14-3-4, 10-1-3) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the seventh minute on a goal by Gilberto Castaneda.
IVC (14-4-2, 10-3-1) came right back and nearly scored. Freshman Fredy Razo sent a high shot that Santa Ana keeper Jarrod Stith was able to knock over the top of the goal.
Razo almost scored again in the 25th minute, but Stith made a diving kick save on Razo's left-footed blast.
And then IVC sophomore Nick Black came close, but headed an attempt over the top of the goal.
Santa Ana made it a 2-0 game a couple of minutes later. The ball was played up top to Orlando Alcaraz. He controlled it and played a pass back to Edgar Islas, who one-timed a shot past IVC sophomore keeper Daniel Hernandez.
The half ended with Santa Ana up, 2-0.
Ten minutes into the second half, the Dons went ahead, 3-0 on a goal by Leonardo Contreras.
It got worse for the Lasers, when, in the 64th minute, Ronald Ybarra was taken down in the box by IVC's keeper. Ybarra buried the ensuing penalty kick in the lower right corner to make it 4-0.
IVC got on the board one minute later when freshman Sean Hudnall took a cross from Razo and scored.
But Irvine Valley just couldn't create enough chances in the second half.
Santa Ana went ahead, 5-1, in the 77th minute when Alcaraz scored off a pass from Ybarra. And the Dons capped their scoring in the 85th minute when Contreras was in the right spot to put in a rebound off a shot by Ivan Moreno that was saved off the line.
Santa Ana out-shot Irvine Valley, 14-10, in the contest. Stith had five saves in goal for Santa Ana and Hernandez made four for Irvine Valley.
Both teams will find out their playoff pairings early next week. The first round of the Southern California Regional playoffs is on Saturday, Nov. 20.