Capristrano Valley's Paul Reyes, left, and Anthony Novella, right, battle El Toro's Michael Bryant for control of the ball during Wednesday's game.

Suri keeps No. 3 El Toro scoring and winning


LAKE FOREST – He could have taken it easy considering his boys soccer team was leading by two goals with just a few minutes to go in Wednesday’s nonleague game against Capistrano Valley.

But James Suri kept sprinting down the left side of the field, firing cross after cross into the box for host El Toro.

“He is a workhorse for us,” El Toro coach Doug Franco said. “He will run through walls for us.”

On a team filled with creative playmakers, Suri stood out Wednesday, having a role in both goals the No. 3 Chargers scored in the 2-0 victory.

It was the third consecutive game in which he has finished with at least one goal. He has scored five goals during that span, four of them coming in two games last week.

“He draws a lot of attention from other teams, and that helps kind of open up options and other players to get the ball,” Franco said.

That is exactly what happened in the 75th minute. With the Cougars’ defenders focused on Suri as he made a dash into the box, Roger Howard and Nicolo D’Amato were able to find some space in the attacking third. Suri passed the ball to Howard who then got the ball to D’Amato who set the final margin with his shot that just made it under the crossbar.

That was the 43rd goals that the Chargers (12-1) have scored in 13 games this season, and so far no team has been able to keep El Toro from scoring at least two goals. Five El Toro players rank among the county’s goal scoring leaders, led by Michael Bryant, who has eight.

Bryant set up the Chargers’ first goal of the game 24th minute.

Matt Bermudez punched a D’Amato corner kick to the top of the box right to Bryant. Bryant then passed the ball through traffic and found Suri standing by the near post who redirected the ball into the goal.

“We definitely have a good offense. We work hard all over the field. Creating chances is one of our strengths this year,” Franco said. “Our guys are good going forward. We have a good, solid defense that allows us to get numbers forward.”

The score could have been really lopsided had it not for Bermudez, who made several spectacular saves for the Cougars (4-6-0). None was better than his stop in the 59th minute. Suri created a turnover in the attacking third, dribbled just short of the area and unleashed a blistering shot at Capo’s goal. Bermudez timed his leap perfectly and slapped the ball over the bar for one of his eight saves.

In other boys soccer:

No. 6 Santa Margarita 3, Trabuco Hills 0: Matt Merrill, Lucas Miller and Coby Cueva each scored for the host Eagles (10-1-2) in the nonleague match.

No. 7 Godinez 3, Woodbridge 1: Danny Lopez, Frank Luna and Jose Martinez all finished with the a goal for the visting Grizzlies (6-0-1) in the nonleague game.

No. Esperanza 1, Foothill 0: Brian Hai knocked in a goal for the visiting Aztecs (6-0-2, 1-0) in the Century League match.

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