The Terra Linda soccer team missed out on some early goal-scoring opportunities and Drake converted their chances in late game fashion, winning 2-0 Friday evening at Red Hill Park in San Anselmo.
The first goal of the match came late in the second half, when Terra Linda's goalie collided with Drake senior Julian Ruzzier-Gaul. That set up a penalty kick, which Ruzzier-Gaul easily converted into the right corner of the goal.
"It was a huge call," said Drake head coach Rene Ayala. "It definitely could have gone either way. We're just glad it went ours."
Ten minutes later, senior Paul O'Sullivan lofted a perfect pass downfield for senior Rio Suendermann, who blasted a shot into the back of the net for the Pirates' second goal. Both teams had ample opportunities to score throughout the game.
Within the first minute the Trojans had a free kick close to Drake's goal. The shot was placed pretty well for a header, but the recipient knocked it high over the post.
About 15 minutes later, Terra Linda had a point blank shot blocked by Drake's goalie. The ball then ricocheted back to another Trojan, who rattled a shot against the top of the goal post. The Trojans had several more near misses.
"We knew coming in both that offenses were potent," Ayala said. "We just wanted to see what team could make stops."
Drake had their opportunities as well, the closest of which came early in the second half. Battling for the ball near the Trojans' goal, Drake got an open look from about 10 feet away, but the goalkeeper managed to block the strike. The ball then rolled to another Drake player in front of an open net, but a sliding Trojan managed to block the shot with his torso.
Ayala said the Pirates' stingy ball handling late in the game made the difference, never giving the Trojans anything easy.
"We possessed the ball more in the second half," Ayala said.
Drake was coming off a 3-3 tie with Tamalpais in their first game of the season. They'll face Branson at Red Hill Park this Wednesday at 4:30pm.
Drake also won the JV game 5-3. The score was tied 3-3 until late in the second half when the Pirates pulled away with it. "There were some strange and unlikely goals in the first half, but our team learned a lot," said Adam Dietz, Terra Linda's JV coach.