Anaheim- A solid defensive effort backboned by 13 Andrew Garcia saves led Servite (1-0, 6-1) to an 8-4 victory over Great Oak (2-5) Tuesday night. Jack Terrones sparked the offense with four-point performance (3G, 1A) as the Friars extended their win streak to five games. Meanwhile Great Oak, ranked no. 6 in the pre-season Coaches’ Poll continues to struggle in the early part of the season.
The game began with a big defensive push from both sides, with no score after the first quarter. However, Terrones’ two goals in the second quarter helped bring Servite to a tight 2-1 lead at halftime.
“Right in the beginning, we had a slow start,” said junior defenseman and team captain Hayden Rodenbeck. “‘D’ came out firing, (Andrew) Garcia making saves, which kept us alive and got us firing in the second half.”
The Friars were able to crack Great Oak’s strong defensive effort and scored four goals in the third quarter. With a little under three minutes to go in regulation, Rodenbeck scored a big goal to put Servite up three and cruised to the four-goal victory.
“I ran our ‘pickle play,’ which is a famous play for Servite,” Rodenbeck said. “I just threw a fake and the ‘D’ bit on that and I had a wide open shot so I took it.”
Freshman Terrones and senior midfielder Donovan Harper (3G) both ended the game with a hat trick. Rodenbeck and junior attackman Carter Bays rounded out the offensive scoring output for Servite. Garcia was big in net, shutting out Great Oak in the first half and rejecting 13 shots.
“I was just trying to communicate with my ‘D’,” Garcia said. “Make sure everybody is talking and swiveling their heads and just tried to stay on top of my game.”
Sean Sanchez led Great Oak with first two Wolfpack goals. Justin Barragan’s third quarter goal and Nolan Adams’ fourth quarter goal completed the scoring for Great Oak.
Servite head coach Tom O’Leary credited his defense for his team’s’ win Tuesday night.
“The defense really came through for us,” O’Leary said. “Holding a good team like Great Oak to four goals is a feat within itself. They got a lot of good kids and a lot of key players and they’re always hungry. It’s always a good game when we play them.”
Servite’s 6-1 start to the season is the best in program history, and O’Leary believes this year’s team has been left in a better place compared to years past in the seven seasons he has been the head coach for the Friars.
“It’s a testament to the amount of work,” O’Leary said. “It’s been a rebuilding since 2013. Slowly but surely, the alumni that have left us in the past couple years have left us in a better place and we’ve able to start out stronger this year.”
The Friars will look to extend their win streak to six when they travel to Esperanza (1-2) on Saturday at 11 a.m. Great Oak will look to return to the win column when they host Yorba Linda (3-2) on Friday at 7:30 p.m.