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MATT MASIN, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Servite's Wilbert Valle celebrates scoring the only goal of the game early in the second half versus Brophy Prep.

Servite enjoys grind-it-out win over Brophy Prep

STAFF WRITER

SAN CLEMENTE – The beautiful game didn’t look so pretty at San Clemente High.

But Servite coach Jon Spencer still found some pleasing moments in Thursday’s grind-it-out scuffle between two of the west’s best boys soccer teams.

The foundation of every Spencer-coached team at Servite has rested on a well-organized back line, and this year’s group of defenders could prove to be among the Friars’ best.

Servite beat Brophy Prep of Phoenix, 1-0, in its opening match of the Lotto Sport Western Showcase and has yet to allow a goal through the first four games of the season. The Friars (4-0) have outscored their opponents, 13-0, and senior Tim Lloyd has been in goal in each game.

“The big thing out of this game is our boys showed some grit, which is something that we are excited to see. We have got something to work with,” Spencer said. “Are we a finished product? By no means, but our defense has been playing good.”

The Friars (4-0) will face Buchanan of Clovis in today’s semifinals. An overturned bigrig in the Grapevine delayed Buchannan’s arrival to their game by almost an hour, but the Bears eventually beat Carlsbad, 1-0.

While Spencer said the Friars didn’t possess the ball as well as he would have liked, the Friars put together a furious 10-minute stretch in the second half in which they fired at will at Brophy Prep’s goal. It was during that span that Wilbert Valle knocked in the game winner off a long throw from Zane Rojas.

Not long after that, Garrett Amador and Corbin Mercado both had their headers tipped just wide of the goal by Nick Briguglio, who finished with five saves for Brophy Prep.

“When we were up 1-0, I told my coaches we got what we needed out of this game no matter what the result,” Spencer said. “We saw some fight out of our guys and we saw some good scoring chances. But we are going to need to improve.”

But as solid as the Friars defenders have played this season, Brophy Prep still posed a threat at times because of Carter Clemmensen. In the final minute of the first half, the sophomore watched his cross-field shot roll just wide of the far post. Then, five minutes into the second half, his shot skimmed the outside of the near post.

Contact the writer: ddottore@ocregister.com


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