The Mira Costa boys soccer team was trailing halfway through the first half of Tuesday’s meeting with Bay League rival Redondo.
The response from that moment was just what the Mustangs needed.
Ben Moglia scored with seven minutes remaining in the half to send the game into halftime tied. Then in the second half, Thomas Southey converted a penalty kick and Julien Peterman added a goal to give Mira Costa a 3-1 win.
“The rivalry gave us a little extra fire heading into second half,” said Moglia, one of the three senior captains for Mira Costa (5-1-3, 3-1-1). “We saw an opening when we got the PK, and after that, it was over.”
Southey, who recently finished his football season, scored the winning goal. In his soccer debut, Southey was pulled down by a Redondo defender in the box in the second half.
The referee pointed to the spot and Southey stepped up and blasted the ball into the upper corner for a 2-1 Mira Costa lead.
“This is the first game I’ve gotten to coach him,” Mira Costa coach Al Brown said. “I’ve been talking to him for two years now. It’s exciting to see him out there.
“The intensity and the purpose and the focus that he brings to the game, it means the other players on the field actually get to have a little bit of a relax when they know that, hey, nothing is going right, then that guy (Southey) is going to try and score.”
The Mustangs later put the game away as Peterman scored after several consecutive passes of build up play.
“We worked a lot in different modes of play,” Brown said. “You have direct play when you want to move the ball quickly and transition over the top, but I work with them a lot to understand the difference between possession and possession with purpose.
“What we’re trying to do is to move the defense into a position where they are finally laying off or slacking off at some point and you take advantage of their being tired. So that team goal, that ball moves left, right, we had a eight, nine, 10 passes in a row, moving from each side so you can shift the defense, so when you finally get them to a place where they can recover fast enough, you take advantage of that mistake.”
Nathan Stocks scored Redondo’s first goal in the 18th minute.
The teams will meet again May 5 at Redondo.