By Horst Noppenberger, Special to the Independent
Laguna Beach High School’s boys varsity soccer team opened their season Friday, Dec. 2, playing cross town rival Dana Hills Dolphins to a 1-1 tie.
First half action found the surprised Dolphins playing on their heels as Laguna Beach launched relentless offensive attacks. The first scoring opportunity for LBHS came when midfielder Miguel Jaimes weaved his way through Dolphin defenders until he was one on one with the goalkeeper, who blocked his shot.
While Laguna maintained possession for the first 15 minutes of play, a defensive miscue allowed the Dolphins an easy goal.
In the second half, Laguna mid-fielder Neil Pearce found some space and sent a well-placed shot just over the top bar. Laguna tied up the score 1-1 when sophomore midfielder Jake Hexburg picked up a loose ball in front of the Dana Hills net with the keeper out of reach.
Laguna continued to dominate the game offensively with six shots on goal to the Dolphins one. The Dolphins took fewer shots because of Laguna’s defensive team led by sophomore Taylor Davidson and senior Brogan O’Bryan. Midfielder Chris Tellez took two outside shots and a volley was sent by Joseph Rousseau off a beautiful Jaimes’ cross, which missed their target. At the game’s closing moments, forward Reece Barton received a cross at the edge of the Dolphin six-yard box. His one-touch shot eluded the goal keeper and looked to be going into the far corner of the net, but missed by inches.
The young team includes three freshmen.
Horst Noppenberger is a Laguna Beach parent.