Albert Einstein Academy boys soccer came in waves all night, but Santa Clarita Christian repelled most of the Rockets’ attacks in a 2-2 draw Tuesday night at Central Park.
When regulation ended, Einstein (1-1-1) had more shots on goal, more scoring chances, more breakaways and more corner kicks than SCCS (0-2-1). Still, the Cardinals used a few fortunate bounces to come away with a 2-2 draw.
“I’m happy with a tie because I knew they were going to come full at us, and they did,” said Einstein coach Ken Erenberg. “The last 15 minutes, we kind of struck back and changed the momentum, but I’m happy with a draw.”
Einstein put the pressure on right away in the first half, forcing the ball into the Cardinals’ end early in the game and forcing SCCS goalkeeper Travis Bannerman to make a handful of early saves.
Einstein had four breakaways as the half wore on and play opened up but couldn’t capitalize.
Just over 20 minutes into the half, Einstein’s Sammy Couja received a pass from midfield near the top of the 18-yard box. Although he had a clear breakaway and looked destined to score on Bannerman, three Cardinals chased down Couja, tripped him up and knocked the ball away.
In the 28th minute, Rockets goalie Phillip Stulman drifted too far from his goal and a bouncing ball landed on the leg of SCCS freshman TJ Evans who tapped it into the net to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead.
The Rockets’ struggles continued 10 minutes later as they failed to convert on a penalty kick.
Einstein freshman Tyler Barton finally got the Rockets on the board about midway through the second half after Einstein sustained pressure on SCCS and Barton kicked the ball past a diving Bannerman near the right goalpost.
SCCS senior Billy Latch put the Cardinals up again when he lofted the ball into the net from near midfield on a free kick midway through the second half.
Barton got his second goal with about 15 minutes remaining on a high kick past Bannerman in the left corner of the net.
Einstein nearly played the entire second half in SCCS territory, registering four shots on goal to the Cards’ one.
In all, Einstein registered nine shots on goal to just five for SCCS.
“We played hard the entire game,” said SCCS coach Steven Cooper. “The other team played well. We have a long season ahead of us, and today I’m happy with how we played.”
About 30 minutes into the first half, SCCS halfback Blaike Orth took an inadvertent kick to the face from an Einstein player while both played a high bouncing ball. No foul was called on the play, but Orth left the game and had a cut lip after the game. SCCS coach Steven Cooper said Orth should be fine, but may need a few stitches.