Islander Boys Soccer ...

Islander senior Connor Buckley plays the ball out of the air in Coronado’s home opener against Mission Hills. The Islanders have opened the 2021-22 season with a 4-1 victory over Mission Hills and a 3-3 tie with El Camino. Buckley has scored a goal in each contest to open the season.

The 2021 Islanders Boys Soccer team just seems to have an edge to them, and they put it on full display in their dominant 4-1 victory in their season opener versus Mission Hills.

In the opening minutes of last Tuesday’s contest, it became obvious rather quickly what the identity of this 2021 team is, speed and aggression. That approach would net the Islanders an early goal after a fine finish from senior Dylan Noble off a corner kick from Connor Buckley, giving the Islanders the early 1-0 advantage.

“That is just Islanders Soccer,” said head coach Aaron Brooks. ``These guys just come out here with an attitude and a lot of energy. They want to attack and be physical with their opponent, we want to come out and make our presence known on the field.

The Islander’s attack would continue to press Mission Hills for much of the first half, as they did a fantastic job of controlling the tempo and generating quality shots on goal. But for all the quality shots the Islanders had, the Mission Hills keeper was able to stave off several of them to keep it a 1-0 game.

That was until Garrett Sauter would lace the Islander’s second goal of the night on a second chance opportunity to make it a 2-0 Islanders lead at the half.

It should also be noted that while the offensive fireworks stole the show for most of the night, the Islanders backline did a tremendous job of keeping the visiting Grizzlies at bay. In goal Tony Miley played aggressive all night, often coming off his line to grab balls that could potentially become dangerous.

“Tony did a great job of staying aggressive all night. He’s fearless and decisive and that’s exactly what you want in a keeper. He’s willing to grind and learn and when you combine that with the talent you get performances as he gave us tonight,” said Brooks.

In the second half, the themes of the first half would carry over, as the Islanders continued to control the tempo and pace.

However, Mission Hills would net one score via a penalty kick to make things more interesting, with a 2-1 game with just over 10 minutes to play. The Islanders would quickly squash any further ideas of a Mission Hills comeback, thanks to two fantastic finishes from their senior captains Sauter and Buckley.

The first goal from Buckley was a classic example of “wanting it more.” The Islander Senior captain raced by the Mission Hills defenders to finish off a great through ball from Nick Lorr to make it a 3-1 Islanders advantage. Sutter’s goal would also be just as spectacular, as the senior would send a shot in from 28 yards outside the box that would sky over the keeper’s reach making it a 4-1 game. It was the final nail in Mission Hills Coffin.

Coronado would have one match later in the week that they would tie 3-3 versus El Camino, with goals from Buckley, Lorr and Cesar Perez. But overall, it was a strong opening act for the Islanders Men’s Soccer team.

The Islanders will return to the pitch this week when they host University City at home this Friday, Dec. 10 at 6 p.m.

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