Damian Dottore, Staff
Godinez poses with its first-place trophy after winning the Aliso Cup championship with a 5-0 triumph over Bell Gardens.

Godinez cruises to Aliso Cup title by shutting out Bell Gardens

Early season success, while always welcome, is a bit of a concern for Godinez coach Ruben Fernandez.

He wants the Grizzlies to stay hungry and humble because the goal, he said, isn’t to win the Aliso Cup championship, which they did in dominating fashion on Monday night at Aliso Niguel during a 5-0 victory against Bell Gardens.

“We want to win a fourth straight (Orange Coast) league title and hopefully, get into the CIF finals,” Fernandez said. “But you still have got to be happy that things are going well. Hopefully, we can maintain it throughout.”

Right now, nothing can seem to slow the Grizzlies down. In the five games that they played in the Aliso Cup, Godinez outscored its opponents, 15-2.

Bryan Ibarra is repsonsible for five of the Grizzlies' goals, and on Monday, he gave the Grizzlies a 1-0 lead in the first minute when he converted on a penalty kick after he was fouled in the box. He he added another goal later in the game to set the final margin.

“This was out goal (to win the tournament). We reached it, but we have a higher goal, CIF,” Ibarra said. “We are taking it game by game and practice by practice and we are trying to get better each game.”

Ricardo Diaz also knocked in a pair of goals for the Grizzlies (5-0), and Nicolas Suazo added to the score in the 19th minute when he headed in a corner kick from Rodrigo Manzo, who finished with two assists.

The score could have been even more lopsided for Bell Gardens had it not been for a leaping save from Jordan Gallardo. In the 10th minute, he batted away a 30-yard strike from Jonathan Romero that was headed to the upper right corner. Gallardo denied Romero later in the game, too, but Romero did finish with two assists for the Grizzlies.

As the former goalkeeper for the Anaheim Splash of the Continental Indoor Soccer League, Fernandez doesn’t focus solely on how much firepower the Grizzlies have in the final third. He takes pride in every clean sheet, too, and once again the Grizzlies have a well-organized group of defenders as they have shut out three of their five opponents. Last year, Godinez gave up just nine goals in 21 games.

“What do they say? Defense wins championships? We are playing well. I know it was a 5-0 score and you can’t argue with that, but at times, we lost control of the game,” Fernandez said. “So I don’t think the score was reflective of the game. Second half we weren’t very sharp, but once we got the third goal, that was it.”

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