The years go by, the faces change, but the results seem to be the same. Single digits. No. 1 Corona del Mar has played 62 games since the 2013 season began. In 56 of those games, they have held their opponents to single digits. On Saturday, No. 2 Foothill became the latest victim when CdM pulled away for an 11-4 victory.
Great defense is a team game and it usually does not generate glossy stats. As a result, defensive players often do their thing in near anonymity. They have the love and respect of their coaches and teammates, but the offensive players tend to get the press.
Let’s not let that happen today and start out with tipping our hats to the CdM defensive unit of Jordan Pakzad, Landon Whitney , Brennan Greenwald, Tate Jackson, Keenan Resslor, Nick Severson, Conner Schimm, Bobby Purcifull, Will Favreau, Ryan Meckler who held the Knights to 4 goals. Backing them up was goalie Kyle Cord who made 10 saves when Foothill was able to penetrate the defense.
Saturday’s game was an old-school defensive battle for much of the game. After CdM took an early 2-0 lead, the defenses settled in. The remainder of the first half was marked by long possessions by both teams with the defenses forcing the play out to the perimeter, keeping the pressure off the goalies.
Foothill clawed back into the game with a pair of quick goals, but Connell Maclean responded for CdM to close the half 3-2 in favor of the Sea Kings.
Miles Smart (12/19) opened the second half by winning the faceoff and giving his team possession. The Knights kept the ball for nearly four minutes but could not score. When CdM finally took possession, freshman John Bethel wasted little time in expanding the CdM lead to 4-2.
Not to be outdone Foothill freshman Andrew Cumming quickly made it a one-goal game and looked like this one would go to the wire. However, goals by Will Favreau and Sachin Gokhale in the final two minutes of the third quarter not only made it 6-3 but energized the Sea Kings and their fans.
CdM pulled away from that point pitching a shut out in the fourth quarter while scoring five of their own to seal the victory and state their case for no. 1.
Next up: CdM (3-0) does a mini tour of the Sunset League with games at Edison (3-2) on Tuesday and Newport Harbor (2-5) for the annual Battle of the Bay on Friday. Foothill (5-3) travels to Palos Verdes (3-2) on Thursday to try to avenge last season’s loss.