Gilbert High began the second week of its 2013-2014 boys soccer season with its fourth consecutive victory.
The Tigers strung together three power-point triumphs last week — the most important of victories. On Monday afternoon they methodically took down Red Mountain, 3-0, in the opening round of the Bill Vanney/Tempe Diablos Soccer Classic at Tempe Sports Complex.
“Last week was a good one for us,” Gilbert coach Jeff Perry said. “We were a little run down by the second half of the third game (a Saturday win). I think we were still a bit tired from last week. We we played a deeper group today. Got more guys in. That helped, but some had a deer in the headlights look. But you don't know how they'll do unless you get them some time.”
Gilbert, which posted wins over Dobson, Mountain Pointe and Corona del Sol last week, scored in the 19th minute of the first half. A nice cross by junior Matt Kowalski found the foot of fellow junior Nabil Attlassy, who drilled it past Red Mountain keeper Travix Dixon for the 1-0 advantage. Gilbert controlled the ball most of the match, particularly in the first half. The Tigers had a number of set piece chances, but weren't able to convert any.
It took nearly half of the second half for Gilbert to add its second goal. Again it was the Kowalski-Attlassy combination. This time Attlassy fed Kowalksi deep in the box and Kowalski finished for the 2-0 edge in the 58th minute.
Gilbert added a third goal in the final two minutes — an own goal. It was credited to freshman Robby Baca — who was closest to the net. Most fans couldn't tell if a Gilbert player managed to get a foot or head on it. Baca fessed up to teammates as they retreated to midfield to continue play with a sly smile and shake of his head that he didn't tap it home.
Gilbert keeper Dylan Fedor notched his third consecutie shutout in four games. He made a couple nice saves in each half. The last one came in the 69th minute as he snared a hot shot from about 15 yards out to protect the 2-0 lead. Gilbert's next match in the tournament is Tuesday (Dec. 10) against Desert Vista at 4 p.m.
Red Mountain, which opened its season with a power-point match last week — a 2-1 victory over Mesa Mountain View — fell to 1-1 on the year. The Mountain Lions continue pool play against Westwood at 6 p.m.