Prep soccer: Windsor 1, Marin Catholic 0

CRISTA JEREMIASON / The Press Democrat Windsor's Manuel Alanis, right, slows down Marin Catholic's Alonzo Page during Thursday's match.

By MICHAEL COIT

The Press Democrat

Buzzing down the field and darting with the soccer ball, Etiandro Tavares plays like a bee in Windsor’s black and gold uniform, and he stung Marin Catholic in the Jaguars’ win Thursday.

Taking a ball deep with a defender draped on him, Tavares created a crease to get off a shot that caromed off the left post into the net, giving the defending Sonoma County League champions a 1-0 win over last season’s North Coast Section large-school titleists.

“I just tried to dance on the ball to try to get at least a yard or two just to get a shot,” Tavares said. “It was a huge win for us. We’ve been dominating a bunch of games and just didn’t finish.”

Once again outshooting their opponent, Windsor finally gained a victory after two losses in nonleague play. Strong second half defense and a stellar save by goalie Jorge Enrique secured the win.

“We’re still trying to put it together,” said Windsor coach Doug Hastings. “The biggest thing tonight was we didn’t make any mistakes.”

Working in half a squad of new players, Marin Catholic is rebuilding after last season’s championship run. The Wildcats lost much of their scoring and experienced leaders.

“Preseason’s for a reason. We’ve got a whole lot to work on,” said Marin Catholic coach Paul Makovec. “I liked that these guys played hard.”

During the first half Marin Catholic controlled much of the pace and kept possession of the ball for long stretches.

Showing patience in drawing fouls, the Wildcats’ best scoring chances came on set plays off free kicks. Marin Catholic would have gone up on a corner kick and header combination if not for Enrique’s clutch stop that wasn’t even his best in the contest.

Later he sprawled in front of a shot by Nuri Bon-Acosta off a deep serve, blocking the ball with his right leg.

With the Jaguars’ often bottled up near the sidelines by the Wildcats midfielders, Windsor only made a few deep first half runs. Tavares got one shot one solid shot on goal as did Andres Miranda, but both were turned away.

Yet the Jaguars warmed up as the temperature fell in the second half.

“Coach told us to take shots and keep the pressure on. That was the plan,” Tavares said.

Peppering Wildcats’ goalie Tyler Shaver often with deep, hard shots off long crossing passes, the Jaguars finally scored on Tavares’ one-on-one play off a deep serve 25 yards outside the Marin Catholic goal.

“We moved the ball very, very well,” Hastings said.

Windsor would get another six shots on goal — 12 total in the game — proving that the best defense can be a good offense.

When they needed a stop, Windsor relied on backs Andres Flores Jose Mosqueda to cut off crossing passes or turn back runs off Marin Catholic passing combinations.

Marin Catholic’s last open scoring chance came on a counter following a Windsor corner kick. Bon-Acosta ran up the left side and fired toward the far post. Enrique leaped up to knock the ball over the end line.

A second Windsor goal would have made the hosts more comfortable. Elias Aranda blasted a long shot from the right side, but Shaver went high enough to get his fingertips on the ball and push it over the crossbar.

The games don’t get any easier with a handful of perennial NCS playoff contenders on the schedule, though Windsor hosts all its preseason contests.

After back-to-back SCL crowns, Windsor wants to make it three in a row. Thoughts of going deeper in the NCS playoffs can wait.

“People are expecting us to do good. Our first goal is to win the league,” Tavares said.