Grace King beat Mandeville in last year’s Division I playoffs.
On Tuesday in a nondistrict game at Skipper Stadium, Mandeville exacted a bit of revenge.
In a battle of highly ranked squads, Mandeville defeated Grace King, 1-0, on a chilly night.
Mandeville improved to 12-2-2. King fell to 12-3-2.
The deciding goal came in the 60th minute from sophomore Chase Erickson, who after a flurry of Mandeville passes deep in Irish territory, delivered a solid put-back to the center of the net. The Skippers defense took care of the rest.
“All through the game, we both were working hard to get shots,” Erickson said. “We knew that whoever had the first one would have the momentum. I’m glad it was us.”
Both were aggressive on offense to begin the match. Mandeville got a trio of headers off (in the eighth, 16th and 18th minutes), but all went wide left. In the 10th minute, Grace King’s Wilmer Toro attempted a point-blank shot from the Mandeville box that sailed just wide of the right post. The Irish squeezed off another shot in the 25th minute, but it too missed the mark.
Mandeville’s best look at the net came in the 34th minute when Devin Pathoumthong knocked a shot from just outside the King net. His shot looked true, but goalkeeper Anthony Marino leaped upward and got a hand on the ball, which kept the game scoreless heading into halftime.
Kenroy Rodriguez had the final shot of the half for King, but the ball was stopped by Mandeville keeper Spencer Hollander.
The Skippers outshot the Irish, 4-3, in the first half, and each team had eight shots in the match.
The Irish came out firing after halftime, but again, no balls crossed into the net. Toro missed wide left in the 47th minute, and Rodriguez had a shot stopped by Hollander a moment later. Andres Calderon had perhaps King’s best look in the half, but Hollander came up big again for Mandeville with a save.
“Overall, these are the games we need to win,” Mandeville coach Aris Kyriakides said. “They are a state finalist from last year. Of course, I would have preferred to score again and kind of put the game out of reach more, but that’s a good team with a lot of speed. It’s a big win for the boys. I’m very happy, because it sets the tone going into district (next week.) That’s one of the reasons we scheduled this game at this time.”
“We just got back from break, so we haven’t been practicing,” King coach Raul Hernandez said. “But overall, we did well. There were no easy goals. It could have gone either way.”