Channel Islands took a 2-0 halftime lead on visiting San Marcos on Wednesday and went on to record a 3-1 boys soccer win in a CIF Division 2 opener in Oxnard.

The Raiders are the top seed in Div. 2 and improved to 18-3-3 overall and 8-0-2 at home.

Channel Islands scored in the 31st and 39th minutes to take a 2-0 halftime lead.

“Goalkeeper Sam Friedman made several saves in the opening minutes to keep us in the game,” said coach Paul McLean. “In the second half, we came out with more energy and desire. We did a better job of winning 50/50 balls and balls in the air and had a few shooting chances. After drawing a free kick, defender David Satchwell played a long ball to Connor Hess who leaped up and headed the ball across the goal where Isaac Estrada finished into the roof of the net to make it 2-1.”

The Royals pushed with seven attacking players and created several chances but couldn’t find the next goal. In one sequence, Dany Aguirre played a ball into Matt Hislop who headed the ball sideways to Yahir Vasquez, who played the ball to right post, but a Raider defender slid in to knock the ball off the line.

CI added a third goal in the closing minutes.

“We didn’t play particularly well in the first half and CI created some good chances and converted two of them before halftime,” said McLean. “They are a good team. We had a great response though in the second half. The boys really sold out and gave everything in the last 40 minutes. Miguel Mondragon, David Satchwell and Yahir Vasquez created good opportunities for us while Connor Hess, Julio Montes and Sam Friedman defended as we pushed numbers forward.

“I am glad we earned another chance to play but disappointed we couldn’t pull off the upset. CI is a strong team and will be a tough team to beat.”