A strong second half propelled the Summerville High School boys' soccer team to a season-high in goals scored as the Bears tripped up the Mother Lode Christian School Cougars 8-3 on Thorsted Field in Tuolumne last night.

After playing to a 1-1 tie by halftime, the Bears (5-2) employed a more offensive-minded strategy in the second half, which paid off as five players scored a total of seven goals.

"In the first half, we played with four defenders, two forwards and three midfielders," Summerville coach Qani Berisha said. "In the second half, we went with three defenders, three forwards and four midfielders, and one of the midfielders was on the offensive side of the field."

With the Bears flooding the Mother Lode side of the field, Adam Aubel and Jakin Laxague scored two goals apiece while Johnny Kelleher, Nick Ohler and Tom Ritz (who scored the Bears' goal in the first half) each knocked in one.

"I've tried doing that before," Berisha said. "Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't."

Defensively, Bobby Laird and Ritz kept goalie Andrew Huff (six saves) out of trouble.

For Mother Lode, which was playing its season opener with just 10 players, Jorge Rodriguez, a transfer student from Spain, scored the first-half goal and D.J. Reel scored a pair in the second half.

"We played really well," Mother Lode coach Dave Reel said. "I can't say they dominated us like they did last year."

Cougars' goalie Josh Neal made 13 saves.

Mother Lode and Summerville tied 4-4 in a scrimmage earlier this month.

Summerville travels to Riverbank next Tuesday, while Mother Lode visits Elliot Christian of Lodi on Friday in its first Mountain Valley League game.

The Union Democrat
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