Coach Gregory Durio watched in dismay as Venice High took only five shots in a 2-0 loss at Chatsworth in the first round of the City Section soccer playoffs Thursday.
Afterward, he could offer but one reason for his offense not showing up: The team itself barely got there.
The bus carrying Venice to the game broke down on the freeway, causing the game to be delayed 30 minutes.
"We were flat out there. We sat on the bus for 45 minutes, not knowing if they were going to send another bus or not," Durio said. "I'm not going to blame the game on that, but in mind, we only lost 1-0."
After watching his team's anemic offense, Durio complained bitterly about a play that turned out to have no effect on the outcome. The play occurred at the end of the first half when Chatsworth forward Joey Bird and Venice goalie Jorge Leal collided as Bird attempted to head in a pass. Leal fell to the ground and the ball rolled into the goal, giving Chatsworth a 2-0 lead.
"That guy just completely knocked my goalie down when he jumped up," Durio said. "We'd still be down, 1-0, but you don't know what kind of effect that had on us psychologically." Chatsworth Coach Richard Doran did not see the play as anything out of the ordinary.
"It was a close call. If the referee had called it against us, I wouldn't have jumped in the air or anything," Doran said. "They both have a right to play the ball."
Even if the goal had not counted, Durio's team still would have trailed, 1-0, at the end of a half dominated by Chatsworth. In fact, Chatsworth failed to convert several scoring opportunities.
"We were just doing what we've been doing this whole time," Doran said of the first half. "I told the kids that if we just keep on doing that, that the goals would come. We missed two opportunities to score that were about as easy as they come."
While Chatsworth was presented with numerous scoring opportunities, Venice was barely able to get the ball outside its half of the field.
"We hardly allowed any shots on goal. We were keeping our goalie bored," Chatsworth fullback Mike Dixon said of Chancellor goaltender Scott Kuhn.
Halfback Chris Horn scored Chatsworth's first goal on a booming 25-yard kick 20 minutes into the game.
The Chancellors travel to Belmont on Tuesday for a quarterfinal match.
Monroe 4, Los Angeles 0--Carlos Medina registered his fifth shutout of the season in the first-round game at Monroe, and the Vikings supported the effort with four second-half goals. Greg Hartsock started the barrage with his 18th goal, and Jaime Leal, Juan Rosales and Oscar Rios each added one. Midfielder Sergio Vargas assisted on three goals.
Monroe (9-2-3) travels to Poly on Tuesday for a quarterfinal match.
Belmont 2, San Fernando 0--Nestor Martinez and Edgardo Rivera scored goals at Belmont to eliminate San Fernando. The shutout was goalie Edin Paiz's fourth of the season.
Reseda 3, Palisades 1--Paul Vargas scored twice for Reseda (9-4-2) in the first-round game at Palisades. Vargas' first score came 20 minutes into the game and gave Reseda a 1-0 lead. Seven minutes later the senior scored again. Eyal Rapaport scored Reseda's third goal. Reseda travels to Garfield on Tuesday for a quarterfinal match.