Santa Barbara High erupted for three goals in an eight-minute span in the second half and beat Dos Pueblos, 3-2, in the Channel League boys soccer opener on Tuesday night at Peabody Stadium.
Midfielder Seba Alvarez scored the equalizing goal in the 61st minute and Cason Goodman put away the next two in the 64th and 69th to send the Dons to their third win in four matches.
Dos Pueblos (1-1 overall), which received solid play from goalkeeper Kylan Johnson and center backs Ethan Foong and Matthew Aguiniga to keep the game scoreless in the first half, struck first in the second half.
In the 52nd minute, Matthew Bailey stole the ball in the midfield and fed forward Seba Dupont on a breakaway. Dupont fought off a defender and cooly put away a left-footed shot inside the far post.
“As a coach, you train certain things, you teach certain things and sometimes you just marvel at certain things. And he has so much that you just marvel at,” said DP coach Matt York of Dupont. “He’s a marvelous kid and he works really hard. He’s sort of up there by himself by design. He doesn’t have a lot of help at times, and that goal is an example of that.
“He just really turned it, out fought a guy, played with his off foot and hit a cross-body shot to the back post. It was a pretty thing for sure and it obviously gave us a spark and gave us life for a team that has little to no experience on the varsity level.”
Santa Barbara coach Ricardo Alcaraz said his team needed to stay patient against DP’s defend-counterattack game plan.
“I could tell their strategy was to defend and wait for an opportunity to counter on us,” he said. “In the first half, they might have had one or two chances, but our guys dealt with it. I told them at halftime to just be patient and wait for your opportunities; keep passing the ball, move it fast.”
Santa Barbara came charging back after Dupont’s goal. The Dons found the back of the net when Alvarez soared at the far post to meet Luis Jeronimo’s cross and blasted a powerful header past the goalkeeper to knot the score.
“When the ball gets wide, we need our center forward and our offensive midfielders in the box,” Alcaraz explained. “In the first half, I thought we weren’t doing that. (Seba Alvarez) finally listened and he got a goal for it.”
The goal lit the fuse of the Santa Barbara attack. Three minutes later, Nestor Vallecillo forced a turnover and fed a through ball to Miguel Alvarado. Alvarado took the ball up the right side and crossed it to an open Goodman in the middle of the penalty area. The center forward deked the goalkeeper before putting his shot away for a 2-1 lead.
On the third goal, Jeronimo picked up his second assist, crossing to Goodman whose left-footed shot was deflected into the net by a DP defender.
Dos Pueblos scored in the 80th minute. Filipo Gerli blasted a shot that was blocked by Santa Barbara goalkeeper Erick Vasquez and Fin Silver cashed in on the rebound.