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Servite gets boost from reserves in semifinals victory
The Servite boys soccer team is tired. Playing 30 games in three months has taken a toll, so how Coach Jon Spencer manages a game is key to the Friars’ success at this point.
On Thursday at Santa Ana Stadium, Spencer went to his bench often, and it was four reserves who helped send the Friars through to the CIF Southern California Regionals Division II championship.
Michael Godinez scored two goals, Noah Ferrel added a goal and an assist and Tim Burke scored in the 68th minute to set the final margin in the Friars’ 4-0 semifinal victory against South High of Bakersfield.
Top-seeded Servite (27-2-1) will play host to Sylmar in the championship game Saturday. The site and time will be determined today.
“Those guys have been coming off the bench all CIF, waiting for their time and they contributed,” Spencer said.
Ferrel has been sick for most of the postseason, but in the 30th minute he delivered the winning goal, knocking in a long throw from Jonathan Pham. Three minutes later, Ferrel picked up the assist on Godinez’s goal, which gave the Friars a 2-0 lead at halftime.
“We have one more left,” Spencer said. “Now we have to regroup, regenerate and put everything on Saturday. There is nothing to hold back at this point.”
Keith Murphy finished with four saves to post his fourth shutout of the postseason.
He got some help along the way from Michael Donnelly. In the 17th minute, Denis Rivas sprinted almost the entire length of the field on a counterattack for the Rebels (20-2-6), and he was alone when he made it into the box. Donnelly, though, gave chase, and just as Rivas was about to take a shot from about 10 yards out, Donnelly kicked the ball away with his perfectly timed tackle.
The Friars have given up only eight goals in their last 18 games, and only four in seven playoff games.
“My goal is every time you play Servite, in every position you know we are going to give you our best effort, defend hard and be a threat to score goals,” Spencer said. “We did that today, and I am proud of the boys.”
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