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Prep soccer: Hit the mark, beat the ’Mark

Trinity pounds Westmark

Posted: February 2, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: February 2, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Trinity's Rafael Castro (30) and Gustavo Castillo celebrate after they teamed up to score against Westmark High School at Valencia Heritage Park on Wednesday.

The Trinity Classical Academy boys soccer team did everything but score a goal during the first 20 minutes against a rebuilding Westmark of Encino squad.

But when Trinity’s Andrew Spinello found teammate Michael Stratton for the game’s opening goal in the 20th minute, the goals started flooding in.

Stratton recorded a hat trick to lead the Knights to a 6-0 Omega League victory at Heritage Park on Wednesday afternoon.

“That was the hope,” said Trinity head coach Zach Weichbrodt. “We needed the confidence. Last week we had tons of opportunities and couldn’t finish the chances.”

That wasn’t a problem on Wednesday, though, as Trinity snapped a three-game losing streak with the win.

While the offense put up big numbers, the Knights’ defense put up a stellar performance. Trinity allowed just one shot on goal in the game, which came from well outside the 18-yard box.

On the other end, Trinity recorded 16 shots on goal.

Led by Patch Kulp and Grant Wolf, the Trinity back line repeatedly closed quickly on the ball and repelled any chances the Lions (0-5, 0-4) had in the attacking zone.

The Knights took a two-goal lead shortly after their first goal. Kulp cleared a ball deep into the attacking zone, and Trinity’s Caleb Wilson beat the keeper to it and was able to make a sliding pass to Rafael Castro in the box.

Castro sent the ball over to Gustavo Castillo, who scored 25 minutes into the game to double the lead.

Stratton would score his second goal five minutes later on a strike from inside the 18-yard box that bounced off the keeper’s hands and into the net to put Trinity ahead 3-0 at halftime.

“The first goal was a kick-start,” Stratton said. “And we were on fire after that.”

The Knights extended the lead 17 minutes into the second half when Wilson put the ball in the net from 11 yards out before Stratton finished off the scoring 10 minutes later.

For Westmark, the game was another learning experience for a team with little experience.

“My boys are learning every day,” said Westmark head coach Peter Marafatsos. “Ten of my 14 players have never played before. It is (a rebuilding year). We lost quite a few players last year.”

The Knights, on the other hand, hope Wednesday’s quality result spurs them toward a successful run through the rest of league play.

James Almeida also scored for the Knights.

“We’ve been working on maintaining possession and playing well,” Weichbrodt said. “And not just scoring goals but earning them.”

Against Westmark, the Knights earned every one of them — and they’ll try to take that momentum into Friday when they travel to face Hillcrest Christian.


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