By Andrew J. Campa, firstname.lastname@example.org
8:21 PM PST, December 4, 2012
NORTHEAST GLENDALE — It could be argued that both the Marshall Fundamental and Flintridge Prep boys' soccer teams enjoyed small victories when the pair met in nonleague play.
The visiting Eagles, who entered Tuesday evening's affair having scored 19 goals through three contests, were held well below their average and spent most of the evening in irritation, with part of that sensation due to the Rebels.
Even so, Marshall's attack still proved potent enough in a 2-0 victory at the Glendale Sports Complex.
"The boys have been on target for the first few games and they were a little frustrated today," said Eagles Coach Dino Barbiera, a former Glendale High girls' coach. "The guys got a little panicky, the bounce on the turf is a little bit different than what we're used to and Flintridge Prep made a few plays as well."
Despite outshooting the Rebels, 20-9, the Eagles (4-0) held a tight 1-0 advantage until the 68th minute when a hustle goal from junior midfielder Sam Doctorian secured the game.
Doctorian's seven-yard goal came off a rebound when the halfback banked in a score off the crossbar and past diving Rebels goalie Clayton Weirick (six saves).
The score came after junior midfielder Ben Cuevas crossed from the left side of the field into the goal mouth that resulted in a short pass to David Reyes, who then fed open striker Charlie Henderson.
The junior's shot smacked off the back of a defender, where it was tracked down and cashed in by Doctorian.
"We've been working a lot on playing in the final third and scoring," Doctorian said. "When you get opportunities, you have to finish."
Marshall's other score came barely 90 seconds in when senior striker Jaime De Paz split two defenders and bounced a through ball to Eric Cortez, who laced a 10-yard shot for the early blow.
Marshall's quick score highlighted a systematic offense that's objective was to pepper shot after shot.
"We're playing a whole new formation where we just go up and down the field," Cuevas said.
"We're still a work in progress," added De Paz.
Yet, despite the offensive display from Marshall, the Rebels (1-1-1) certainly had their chances.
After connecting on only three shots in the first half, Flintridge Prep doubled its output in the second half and nearly scored the equalizer on three separate occasions.
Junior forward Henry Griffith rifled a laser from 10 yards that knocked Eagles goalie Jean Paul Balarezo (three saves) to the ground in the 44th minute, while Sean Kilmer was just wide left from 15 yards in the 48th minute and a header attempt from Bryce Delgado in the 67th minute off a corner kick from Manny Perez sailed high and wide from six yards.
Perez actually had a corner kick get by Balarezo in the 81st minute only to have an Eagles defender make a successful clear-out attempt.
"I'm disappointed with the loss, but I'm still pleased. We've only had five practices as a team," Rebels Coach AJ Yates said. "We're coming together as a team and I liked the way we played defense. There was a little confusion, but I liked our effort.
"Again, as a team, we've had a lot of players spend time in other sports, like cross-country, water polo and football, and we've only recently got those players back. So, right now, it's about competing and we're doing so."