Leonel Olivo notched a hat trick and the San Marcos High boys’ soccer team exploded for a 6-0 victory over visiting Ventura on Thursday night at Warkentin Stadium.
The Royals have now scored 11 goals in two games this season as they’ve opened the season with two crucial Channel League victories.
“We took advantage of our chances. There was some really excellent combination play and some great finishing,” said San Marcos coach Paul McLean. “I don’t think the score line necessarily told the story. Their team was actually quite good. We just converted a lot of our chances. I think they will be hard to beat next time we play them.”
Tully Knoles got things started for San Marcos with an early goal off a through ball from Leo Hernandez, and Olivo put the Royals ahead 2-0 with his first goal just 10 minutes into the game.
The scoring continued in the 18th minute when Justin Hess sent a perfectly placed long ball into the box that Knoles headed into the goal for his second score of the game to put San Marcos ahead 3-0.
The play of the match came in the 30th minute when Olivo gathered a pass on his chest in the box, brought it down directly to his foot, and blasted it into the side netting, giving San Marcos a 4-0 lead.
“I remember just seeing one of my friends do it, and I was like, ‘I’ve got to try it. I’ve got to shoot because I don’t really shoot,’ and I scored,” Olivo said. “I’m glad I scored. I’m just happy for the result.”
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Favian Rosales scored off a rebound to increase the San Marcos lead to 5-0 in the 39th minute of play.
The lone goal of the second half came in the 46th minute on a set piece. Olivo blasted a free kick from 30 yards out that squirted through the arms of the Ventura goalkeeper and into goal, which completed his hat trick.
“That was one of the best high school goals I’ve seen. The technique that he used from chest to foot to side netting was special,” said McLean of Olivo’s second goal. “He does a lot of things for us. He defends well, he creates opportunities for others, and he can finish. He’s an excellent player.”
The Royals (2-0) will host rival Dos Pueblos on Tuesday in another Channel League match. The dynamics of league play have changed for Santa Barbara area schools, as there are now five Ventura county schools in the league.
“I anticipate there will be a lot of parity,” McLean said. “I think a lot of teams will beat a lot of teams, so that’s good for us as a team; it will make us better.”
Santa Barbara, 2; Buena, 2
The Dons surrendered a goal in the final 12 minutes to finish in a disappointing tie against the visiting Bulldogs.
Dos Pueblos, 3; Rio Mesa, 0
The Chargers picked up their first victory of the season in dominant fashion.