Mira Costa’s boys soccer team ran St. John Bosco high school into the ground with a 5-1 win over the Braves on Dec. 12 at St. John Bosco high school.
The Mustangs defeated Bosco 5-1 with excellent performances from senior forward and captain Robert Cook and senior forward Alex de Sousa for goals that put Costa in a position for overall success.
“We need to focus on [our] defense to make sure that we always try to shut other teams out, our goal to not get scored on,” head coach Gary Smith said.
The Mustangs started the game out strong by creating an offensive presence, making it difficult for Bosco’s defense to play out of the back. The constant pressure from the Mustangs allowed senior Cooper Arak to play a ball into de Sousa, which he finished putting Costa ahead 1-0.
“To be honest with you, this was the best game our team has had this season,” de Sousa said. “We moved the ball around quickly and always seemed to find open gaps.”
Senior Michael Antich and Junior Colton Flake kept Costa’s offense going by striking balls past the keeper, extending the lead 3-0. Whenever a slip occurred and the team turned over the ball we were quickly able to recover defensively and win the ball back, de Sousa said.
“We have got athletes that are creative and that is going to show, and the time that we are putting in working together is helping,” said Smith.
Costa’s defense held the Braves scoreless for as long as possible but eventually conceded a goal off a deflection in the box. We tried to focus on the concept that goals will eventually come because there is so much talent on the team but they have to make sure that they can first shut other teams down, Smith said.
“The only weakness is when there was a second of a mental lapse which led to a goal, but it came from a deflection anyways so it was more unlucky than a lack of strength,” de Sousa said.
Costa continued to pour it on in the second half, capitalizing off crosses from junior Josh Gaudiano and senior Nathan Brandford. Cook sealed the win for the Mustangs by finishing a cross to make the final score 5-1 in favor of the Mustangs.
“Our forwards were on fire, especially Robert Cook who netted two goals, and defensively we were rock solid,” de Sousa said.
The Mustangs are currently 3-1 overall and will face Santa Monica high school on the road Thursday, Dec. 14. The team plans to focus on their defensive shape in practice this week, said de Sousa.
“We have superstar goal scorers, so putting balls into the back of the net is not our problem,” said de Sousa. “The only thing we have been really focusing on is having all of our players get into a compact defensive position as quickly as possible.”