LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE — La Salle High boys' soccer Coach Dan Sheridan called the St. Francis program one of the "best in the valley," in the past 20 years, and mentioned it was beneficial for his team to play the Golden Knights.
Although Sheridan had to settle for a 0-0 outing against St. Francis in Tuesday's season opener for both teams, the head coach was pleased with his squad's performance against a talented Golden Knights program at Friedman Field.
While Sheridan was pleased with his defense, his counterpart was simply disappointed.
St. Francis Coach Glen Appels didn't want a tie.
He wanted the win and was disappointed in the result.
"It was a huge disappointment we didn't finish our chances," Appels said.
The Golden Knights, who finished third in the Mission League a year ago, had plenty of chances to score against the Lancers.
St. Francis had eight shots on goal, including four from senior forward Brookes Treidler, in addition to 14 shots. La Salle, the defending Del Rey League champs, had one shot on goal — and "that's being generous," according to Sheridan — and four shots.
"We had wide-open looks," Appels said. "We were too excited. It's going to take sometime to find a way to score goals."
Duncan Breda, making his first varsity start in goal, made impressive stops to prevent St. Francis from scoring.
The senior punched away a shot from Reed Izumi in the 27th minute and turned away a number of other shots with diving stops in the second half, when the Golden Knights peppered the Lancers with eight shots.
"He was aggressive and he was comfortable," Sheridan said of his goalkeeper, one of the many new players on a La Salle squad that graduated nine players from a team that went 15-4-3 in 2011.
La Salle's best opportunity to score came in the 32nd minute when Briley Venti's free shot from 25 yards out hit the crossbar. The rebound was kicked away, as the Lancers walked away upset with the missed chance.
"Next time, we'll be in position for the rebound," Sheridan said.
Venti had his team's only shot in the second half, with it coming in the 49th minute. La Salle didn't post another shot for the rest of the match.
"I'm happy with how well our defense played," Appels said. "We played strong defensively."
Offensively, Appels and his players wanted more production.
"It's a bit depressing we didn't score," Treidler said. "I had opportunities. I feel bad I didn't capitalize on them.
"The ball was getting away from me. I was over thinking it instead of playing my game. You always want to be the hero. Sometimes you try to over hit it."
Appels said Treidler will get more opportunities as his team's "most complete attacker."
"He has a tremendous shot," Appels said. "He's going to score goals for us."
Treidler and the Golden Knights will get their next opportunity to score when they play host to North Hollywood in a nonleague match at 5 p.m. Thursday in the Ralph Brandt Tournament.
La Salle will travel to Valley Christian for a nonleague match at the same time.