Muta powers Marina into Aliso Cup final


It once took Dakoda Muta an entire season to accomplish what he has done in four games this week for the Marina boys soccer team.

The senior forward scored two goals Saturday, one in a 2-1 victory against Santa Ana Valley in the quarterfinals of the Aliso Cup at Laguna Hills Skate Park, and another in a 2-1 triumph over Woodbridge in the semifinals at Aliso Niguel High.

The Vikings (4-0) have outscored their opponents in the tournament, 9-3, as they advanced to Monday's championship match against Los Alamitos at Aliso Niguel.

Muta has accounted for six of Marina's goals in the Aliso Cup, which is exactly how many goals he had last season.

"I was expecting to come out and score a lot of goals," Muta said. "I have changed my style of play."

This season, Muta said he is trying to "stay more open and looking around," and in the 43rd minute, he tied the Vikings' quarterfinal match, 1-1. Santa Ana Valley took a 1-0 lead into halftime after Jorge Herrera slipped a low, hard shot between Marina's diving keeper and the far post.

Last winter, the Vikings featured a dominant defense, led by senior goalkeeper David Elias, who finished with a 0.321 goals against average and 20 shutouts. The Vikings, Muta said, know they are going to give up a lot more goals than that this year. That, Muta said, shouldn't be much of a problem because now they have the ability to be much more consistent in the final third.

"We have more chemistry now," Muta said.

In the semifinals, Muta redirected a pass from Grant Mayeaux to give the Vikings a 1-0 lead against the Warriors. Logan Mooney knocked in the winner for Marina in the second half.

"I have got to keep this up," Muta said. "I want to win the tournament."

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