LAKE PLACID - The Lake Placid Green Dragons boys soccer team didn't puff any smoke on Monday night, instead they bellowed out a flame of fire that reduced the visiting DeSoto Bulldogs to ashes, as Lake Placid obliterated DeSoto 4-1 at Roger Scarborough Memorial Field in the first match of the season for both teams.
"It feels really amazing," said Dragons captain Osvaldo Orduna. "They are a really good team. They came here and thought they would take a win to their house, but we kept it here and showed what the Lake Placid Dragons are really about and shut them down. It was a complete team effort."
It took only three minutes for the Dragons to score, demonstrating their impressive dribbling skills as they pushed the ball down the right side of the field. Carlos Santana-Bravo passed the ball to the left to Danny Gil. From there, Gil blasted the ball into the left side of the net to give Lake Placid a 1-0 lead.
For the next 34 minutes, both teams battled to a standstill over position and ball control. Lake Placid kept the Pressure on DeSoto with a myriad of shots on goal, while the Dragons defense clamped down on the Bulldogs when they got close, allowing only two shots on goal during the first half.
With less than three minutes left in the first half, Gil scored his second goal of the game when the DeSoto defense misplayed a ball.
"On the second goal," Gil said. "The defender passed it to the goalie. He was not reading the defense and I just took it and capitalized on their mistake."
Gil's ability to seize the moment allowed Lake Placid to go into the half with a 2-0 lead.
The start of the second half had DeSoto putting pressure on Lake Placid as the Dogs reeled off four shots in the first eight minutes. The first two went wide left and the second two were saved by goalie Alfredo Alguira as the Green Dragons held off the surge.
With just over 17 minutes left in the game, DeSoto finally broke through the Lake Placid defense. With the ball near the Lake Placid goal, the Green Dragons tried to clear it out, but the kick was low and a DeSoto player tried to head the ball back into the goal.
Instead the ball went to the right post, where DeSoto's Osiel Nuevo was able to take the shot, booting the ball into the net to cut Lake Placid's lead in half.
Lake Placid responded by going on the attack. With 14 minutes left to play, Yoyi Gomez pushed the ball down the left side of the field. Instead of taking the shot, though, he passed the ball over the middle to Santana-Bravo, who netted another Dragons score to give the team a 3-1 lead.
With less than two minutes left in the match, Orduna scored the final goal for Lake Placid on a 30-yard free kick that sailed over the goalkeeper's head.
"I think tonight was about a team effort," said Lake Placid coach James Ashley. "And honestly, I thought Alfredo (Alguira) played well enough to get a clean sheet tonight. I thought we played a good enough game we should not have any goals given up."
Ashley couldn't say enough about his team's performance - especially his young sophomore goalkeeper.
"It's training, it's getting the experience, and it's getting the opportunities to be in those situations. If you've never been in those situation, you are not going to know what to say."
Alfredo has grown over the past year. He's seen and knows what to say. He has taken the brunt end of things and been on the losing end of the results. Through those loses you grow and tonight we got to see that growth with some excellent play."
The Dragons will have little time to celebrate their early success, though, as they host Sebring Thursday at 8 p.m. The Streaks were 1-1 against the Dragons last year.