SANTA ANA — Perhaps there's no simpler way to say it: the Marshall Fundamental boys'
soccer team had no answer for Hector Godinez High's Andrew Soriano.
With the victory, Orange Coast League champion Godinez (15-2-4) advances to the five-year program's first-ever divisional
semifinal next Tuesday, while Alpha League
Fundamental (18-5) was thwarted in the quarterfinals for a third straight time.
“Next year, I'm just going to make sure that we stay on top of the league, so that we can stay home for this quarterfinal game. If I can just get over this hump, I think it will help,” Eagles Coach Dino Barbiera said. “I thought the third time would be a charm.”
Soriano turned whatever quarterfinal hump the Eagles may have had into a mountain with a sublime bicycle-kick goal in the 12th minute.
The play began with a deep throw in from senior defender Martin Rangel that bounced around the penalty area before Soriano spun off a defender, entered the goalmouth, and flicked a goal via a bicycle kick.
“I was amazed. I closed my eyes right when I hit that ball,” said Soriano, who attempted three such kicks Friday. “I opened my eyes and my teammates were there. I was surprised it went in.”
The goal was part of a 15-shot first-half flurry by the Grizzlies, who dominated the final shot total,
Yet, for all the attempts against the Eagles, they only trailed, 1-0, through 30 minutes just when Soriano struck again.
This time, the score came off a counterattack as a shot on goal from Marshall's Jaime De Paz was quickly punted away by Grizzlies goalie Luis Rodriguez
(four saves) in the 31st
The clear-out attempt sailed passed midfield and bounced high until it came down just inside the 18 where Soriano was present to one-time a shot passed Eagles goalie Michael
Quintero for a second
“I did some research last night. The first thing I said on the bus is, ‘Look, these are the two guys you've got to watch out for,” Barbiera said. “They're really good to look out for each other [Soriano and Dany Lopez] and it happened.”
Soriano's hat trick was completed in the 58th minute when he laced a 12-yard shot into the lower right of the net off an assist from Eduardo Gaona.
The match's final score came on a penalty-kick goal in the second minute of stoppage time from Israel Diaz.
With possession primarily in Godinez's attacking third, Marshall didn't have much time to set up its own offense.
Perhaps the Eagles' two best chances took place in the 47th and 66th minutes.
On the first try, a header from sophomore defender David Mielke from 10 yards sailed just wide right.
The second attempt called for a diving kick save from Rodriguez on a shot from De Paz from six yards set up on some stellar inside dribbling from junior Ben Cuevas.
“Coming in, coach told us to watch for [Soriano and Lopez] and we just didn't do that,” said Eagles goalie Michael Quintero, who finished with three saves. “I guess we didn't expect them to be that strong. I can tell we where on our heels. We lacked confidence and it got the better of us.”