Having played to a pair of tie scores and dropping a one-goal game in the first week of its season, the Laguna Beach High boys' soccer team entered the week looking for its initial victory. The Breakers had their chance to get that first win when they opened a three-game home stretch Monday against Northwood.
Not only did the Breakers get win No. 1 that day, they also came back two days later at Guyer Field to down Trabuco Hills Wednesday for their second victory.
Laguna defeated the Timberwolves and Mustangs by identical, 2-1 scores in nonleague games. Junior forward Willy Wheeler and junior midfielder Harrison Gregory scored single goals in both victories.
Laguna and Trabuco Hills were deadlocked, 1-1, at the half.
"This was an excellent result in a very competitive game," Laguna Coach Dan Richards said. "Trabuco had some talented players and were a very well-organized group, who played some good stuff.
"The goals we scored were very well taken and showed the extra bit of class we have in the final third which will be needed throughout the season. Our defense took another step toward how we need them to play and being organizationally stronger."
Sophomore Dante Amodeo registered eight saves including getting three consecutive stops on penalty-kick attempts late in the opening half by the Mustangs.
"The whole incident revolving around Trabuco's penalty kicks was very bizarre, not only for the initial decision, but then to have it saved and then another being awarded straight afterward, which was also saved, only to have that be re-taken, was amazing," Richards said. "Dante [Amodeo] made two quality saves from the first two spot kicks, and even got a hand to the third one.
"How the lads responded in the second half and kept their composure after the disappointment of the penalty incident right at the end of the first half, was good to see."
In a nonleague game Monday, the Breakers came back from a 1-0 halftime deficit to defeat visiting Northwood, 2-1.
"This was a much better team performance tonight, and the boys got a well-deserved victory," Richards said. "Our opening week was difficult and this was a good way to bounce back.
"In our first few games we never really showed the type of soccer we know we can play, and will need to play, to be successful this year. We did a much better job of controlling the midfield and getting numbers up in the attack. Our shape at the back was far better and it was simply a more complete and well-rounded performance."
The Breakers (2-1-2) play host to their fourth-consecutive home match Friday, when Tesoro comes to Guyer Field for a 6:30 p.m. nonleague game.
Nest week, the Breakers play at 6 p.m. Monday at Dana Hills, at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Aliso Niguel, and at 3 p.m. Dec. 20 at Santiago.
The Breakers took on two top-rated teams, Brea Olinda and Placentia Valencia, on opening day of the Ocean View Winter Classic Saturday, and dropped tight, 1-0 matches to both the Wildcats and Tigers.
In its tourney opener, Laguna played Division 1 Brea tough to the end but ended up falling in a one-goal defeat. Trailing late, a shot by junior forward Paige Vitolo went off the frame, and the Wildcats were able to hold on for the victory.
The Breakers (1-2) also had several close, scoring opportunities against Valencia, as sophomore midfielder Summer Stanaland and sophomore forward Katelyn Carballo combined on several first-half attempts on goal.
The Breakers face two more tough opponents when they complete play Saturday at the Ocean View Winter Classic. They first faced second-ranked La Mirada (Division 4) at 11:30 a.m., before taking on Cypress at 3:30 p.m. Both games are at La Mirada High.