The boys soccer team from Phoenix Bourgade Catholic hopes that improvement shown over the final week of 2013 will carry over into the new year.
The Golden Eagles got a big 3-2 win over Chandler Valley Christian to open the Phoenix Christian Invitational and faced host Phoenix Christian later in the day.
“We’re excited to get such a good start. This is our first opportunity to show what we really have,’’ said coach Dave Schonaerts.
It appeared that Bourgade would have it easy, getting first-half goals from Damian Blasek and Michael Rodriguez (off a penalty kick) for a 2-0 lead at intermission.
Valley Christian got back into the match with 25:25 left on the first of two goals by Justin Ree. It came just a few moments after the Trojans’ goalkeeper stopped another penalty kick by Rodriguez.
“We were trying for a 3-0 lead, but it is 2-1 instead and now we’ve got a different game,’’ said Schonaerts.
Rodriguez had another opportunity on a free kick with 21:30 left and this time was able to capitalize, slipping the ball just past the keeper for a 3-1 lead.
Ree scored again on a header with 18:20 left, but Bourgade kept the Trojans silent after that.
“Both teams had their opportunities and we had to capitalize on as many as we could,’’ Schonaerts said. “Both keepers played well. You have to tip your hat to them.’’
Bourgade had some players out due to holiday vacations earlier in the week, and Schonaerts is thankful to have them back.
The tournament continues Saturday (Dec. 28) with the championship match slated for 2 p.m.