PLACENTIA – Fullerton coach George Shumaker has only two goals for his boys soccer team every time the Indians enter the Sunny Hills Summer League: Improve as a player and improve as a team.
At the end of the first week of the month-long tournament, the Indians appear to be doing just that.
Fullerton did a good job pushing up the field on Thursday at Valencia High and putting pressure on Chino Hills' defenders, out shooting the Huskies, 8-0 in the first half.
The Indians only took four more shots than in their last game, so Fullerton got plenty of chances out of the two formations it tested out on Thursday.
But they left with the game with nothing to show for it as the Huskies made the most of what little the Indians gave them, scoring six minutes into the second half on their first shot of the game to beat Fullerton, 1-0.
“They were more attentive in the second half, and they came back and what can you say? It was a great shot,” Shumaker said.
Joseph Trevgoda lofted the ball over the Indians' goalkeeper and slipped the ball just inside the near post to score the only goal that Chino Hills would need. After that, the Huskies only managed to get off two more shots. Niether one was on target
Yazi Hernandez normally plays midfield for the Indians, but on Thursday, Shumaker moved him up a bit, and he gave the Indians their two best chances to score.
With two minutes to go until halftime, he fired a line drive toward the goal from 20 yards out, but Jonas Currcuza batted the ball away to record one of his four first-half saves.
Then in the 45th minute (summer league uses two 30-minute halves), Hernandez dribbled deep into the box and took a shot from a tough angle, and the ball hit the side of the net just behind the near post.
Nathan Miramontes, Leonardo Morales, Edger Ramos and Lucio Zarate also played striker for Indians on Thursday as Shumaker tested two different formations against the Huskies, playing the first half with two strikers and the second half with three.
And those four, Shumaker said, give Fullerton a good dose of speed and maturity to the team.
“We did that (change formations) to see if we could attack more and put more pressure on them,” Shumaker said. “We are trying to teach them rather than trying to be fancy and do what they see on television to keep it simple. Trying to communicate that to the guys is easier said than done. We work on discipline and taking responsibility that when you are pushing the ball up, you know what you are doing. We make sure we are communicating, and I think we did a better job of that in this game.”