Someone had to finally get league win No. 1 on the boys soccer field.
And after two quick goals by Alex Gonzalez, it was the Lompoc Braves getting the better end of Cabrillo, defeating the Conquistadores 5-0 on a wet and damp CHS field on Thursday afternoon.
Following Wednesday’s storm that swept through the region, the game featuring mostly sunny skies was played on the lower field at Cabrillo High as the junior varsity game shifted over to the Conqs’ upper field. The victory ended Lompoc’s 0-3 start in Channel League contests, plus placed its record at 5-9-1.
For head coach Marco Vargas, the five-goal rout is considered a weight lifted off of the Braves’ shoulders.
“It’s definitely a relief,” Vargas said. “We definitely took a lot of pressure off of our shoulders. We saw a lot of guys who stepped up today when we needed it – and we found the back of the net.”
Cabrillo (2-10-1, 0-4 in the Channel League) got assertive on offense early by spending the first four minutes of the first period invading the Braves’ territory and controlling the soccer ball. The Conqs, however, couldn’t muster any goals.
After two key saves inside the net by the Conqs, Alex Gonzalez finally got LHS to break through for the first goal of the game – a right side blast that saw the ball hit the left inside of the net.
The Braves kept the momentum on their side from there.
Gonzalez tacked on another goal in the middle of the first. Lompoc ended the first period leading 2-0. The Braves never got out of pressuring on the offensive end from there.
“When we get goals, we take pressure off of ourselves,” Vargas said. “We tend to relax a little bit. But once we score first, we try to get more in and move the ball around.”
Lompoc went with the spread-the-ball approach and controlled a majority of the soccer ball possessions for the rest of the second half. Cabrillo had three more opportunities to put the ball into net, including on fast break chances, but CHS couldn’t capitalize and left its head coach Oscar Torres frustrated on the sidelines.
Eli Zuniga pounded the next goal for the Braves after the first five minutes of the second period. Anthony Morales came next with his attempt to the net to make it 4-0.
Finally, in a penalty kick scenario, the Braves allowed goal keeper Alejandro Lopez to have some offensive glory and an opportunity to get on the scoring stat sheet. Lopez won the penalty chance by completing the fifth and final goal of the game and got his side to erupt in cheers.
While Lompoc won by five for the second time this season (beat Nipomo by the same score on Dec. 3), Vargas denied that this win over the Conqs was a complete game by his team.
“I wouldn’t say completely dominant. We have dominated a lot of teams,” Vargas said. “We’ve been having trouble with finding the back of the net in most games, though. We’ve been in a lot of games. We’ve just have had trouble up at the top.”
Lompoc travels to Santa Ynez next Tuesday for its next Channel League contest at 5:30 p.m. Cabrillo returns to Vandenberg Village to host Dos Pueblos for a 3 p.m. league battle.
Lompoc 3, Cabrillo 0
The Braves have now won their last five meetings against rival Cabrillo – this time blanking the Conquistadores at Huyck Stadium on Thursday night.
"We started fast again tonight. We know that with the way we defend, getting up early really causes problems for the opposition," LHS head coach Jason Cochrane said by phone.
In just six minutes into the first half, Bri Gaona smashed an early free kick from what Cochrane said stretched 30 yards before hitting the back of the net. Lisa Bueno then added the next Braves' goal off of the assist by Ayziah Simmons. Gaona tacked on one more goal on a set piece header.
Cochrane said all Lompoc goals came in a span of 22 minutes.
The victory improved Lompoc’s record to 6-3-1 overall and 2-1-1 in the Channel League. Cabrillo is now 7-11-2 and 1-3 in league games.
Lompoc will host Santa Ynez for a key Channel League battle against the league-leading Pirates. That contest is set for 5 p.m. at Huyck Stadium. The Conqs will travel to Dos Pueblos for a 2 p.m. league game.
Coastal Christian 41, Valley Christian Academy 23
The Lions fell by 18 points on Thursday night.
Jenna Mason had an active night for VCA: Scoring six points, collecting 17 rebounds, blocked five baskets and snatched two steals.
Lindsay Mikkelson added six points. Grace Cose and Heather Knudsen both had four points apiece.
The Lions will host Shandon on Friday for a 5 p.m Coast Valley League game.