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Servite cruises in Aliso Cup opener
It’s hard for a boys soccer team to get off to a faster start than this.
The first two shots Servite took in its season opener Wednesday resulted in goals, putting the Friars on track to a 5-0 victory against host Glendora in a pool play game of the Aliso Cup.
“And they were not shots, too. That was a good start,” Servite coach Jon Spencer said. "That is nice to put yourself in such a good position just five minutes into a game.”
It was 10 minutes actually.
Mike Wolitski gave the Friars the lead in the second minute with his shot from 20 yards out.
Eight minutes later, Kevin Engesser fired a high line drive at the goal, which ricocheted off the cross bar and bounced on the ground just behind the goal line to give the Friars a 2-0 lead in Spencer’s first game as coach of the defending Trinity League champions.
He replaced Mike Lussier, who left the program in the spring after winning 223 games and sending 22 players to Division 1 schools.
“We have some excellent kids," Spencer said. "The starting point that I am working with is very good, and they have bought into what we are trying to accomplish here. We still have a lot of work to do, but when the whistle blew they were ready to go.”
Felipe Silva scored once and Ryan Godinez scored twice in the second half for Servite.
Godinez’s two goals came near the end of the game.
Silva’s goal came in the 63rd minute after he had been denied on two shots earlier in the second half.
Servite’s four defenders might not be as tall or as physical as what Servite has had in the past, but what the Friars lacked in size they made up for with their discipline, holding their shape for most of the game to limit Glendora to just two shots.
“We are still trying to figure out who we are and what we are doing. It is early in the season,” Spencer said. “I am not so worried about the size aspect of it because hopefully we can play good soccer as a team.”
Jared Hemann was in goal for the Friars, taking over for sophomore Keith Murphy who had 13 shutouts and a .636 goals against average last season. Spencer said he has “two phenomenal keepers who could start anywhere.”
“And a lot of our guys have been playing a lot of soccer this fall," he added, "so we are trying to manage the kids so they are not overdoing it.”
In other Aliso Cup games:
Marina 2, Montebello 0: Dakota Muta scored two goals to lead the visiting Vikings (1-0) in a pool play game.
Esperanza 3, Aliso Niguel 1: Alec Afarian, Joey Biedebach and Joshua Gutierrez each scored for the visiting Aztecs (1-0) in the pool play game.
In nonleague games:
El Toro 3, Savanna 0: Brian Soufi scored two goals for the host Chargers (1-0).