St. Augustine celebrated a San Diego Section title in 2012, and the No. 2-ranked Saints hope to do it again when the playoffs begin Feb. 25.
Behind a barrage of second-half goals, No. 2-ranked St. Augustine dismantled La Jolla, clinching the Western League boys soccer crown Wednesday with a 6-0 win at home.
It’s the first league title since 2011 for the Saints (16-3-2, 6-0-1).
“Last time we tied these guys. They didn’t rob us of a victory anything like that. We just came out flat and they earned a draw against us,” St. Augustine coach Brendan Johnston said. “So our goal was to hold possession of the ball, keep the ball on the ground and finish our chances when they presented themselves. And I think we did that. The two early goals we had sort of deflated them.”
Bennett Poiset opened the scoring in the first half. On a counterattack, the sophomore midfielder nutmegged his defender, creating some space, then smashed the soccer ball over the head of La Jolla’s keeper in the far left corner.
Minutes later, sophomore midfielder Arturo Jacobo connected on a low cross inside the box that he slotted in the lower left corner. Despite being challenged by the Vikings, who argued that the ball entered the net from the hole in the left side, the call stood.
Two-nil at the half.
La Jolla (3-7-3, 1-3-2) surrendered four second-half scores — a brace to Michael Ingraham and one apiece to Chris Barr and Zach Totah. Offensively, the Vikings couldn’t muster more than five shots against the Saints, whom they tied 1-1 in January.
St. Augustine senior goalkeeper Cody Russell collected his sixth clean sheet of the season.
“We committed ourselves to pressuring them and maintaining the ball,” Johnston said. “We kept them chasing after the ball for most of the game. Sometimes, the best way to defend is by possessing the ball.”