As Valencia High boys soccer worked toward a 5-1 win over Calabasas High on Thursday night, a young girl was sitting behind the Vikings’ home bench and reading a book.
Turned to the side, she didn’t pretend to watch Valencia’s fancy footwork, pinpoint passing and counterattacks.
Showcases of speed and skill, after all, have become the norm at Valencia.
The Vikings (3-0), who won a CIF SoCal Regional title last season, have outscored opponents 16-4 through three games this season.
Luke Fowble and Brennon Book provided the fireworks Thursday. Vikings coach Tony Scalercio gave the sophomore duo extra responsibility in the game in order to give them a chance to execute his defense-first-attack-second system.
They’re obviously getting the hang of it.
Book scored in the game’s first few minutes and then assisted Fowble’s first goal in the 11th minute for a 2-0 lead.
Fowble scored off a long David Juico assist in the 26th minute. Then Fowble returned the favor to Book shortly after halftime, setting up his teammate to score and make it 4-0.
“It ups the confidence of the team,” Book said. “We all came off tonight feeling really great, but Coach was sure to remind us not to let it get to our heads and to make sure we stay focused, stay serious for upcoming tournaments and league.”
The Vikings are the reigning Foothill League champions, but after the graduation of All-CIF performers Javier Orellana and Luis Garcia Sosa, a repeat run falls to a mix of strong returners like Josh Ferguson (also All-CIF last year) and a young corps.
Ferguson set the final score Thursday with his goal in the 72nd minute.
“They caught us a couple times on the counterattack and punished us,” said Calabasas coach Shaun Russell, whose team fell to 0-2.
The Coyotes’ lone goal came in the 59th minute on a Barbod Noorabadi penalty kick.
The goal ended keeper Daniel Rodriguez’s bid for a shutout in an otherwise standout performance.