El Toro Puts Woodbridge in Bad Spot

Last season, Woodbridge forward Yigal Kerszenbaum probably would have scored on one of his three point-blank shots at El Toro goalkeeper Josh Saunders. But more and more Woodbridge Coach Jon Szczuka is learning that this season isn’t like the last one.

“I hate to say it but I’m almost getting used to it after awhile,” Szczuka said of Kerszenbaum’s failed sequence early in the second half. “We’re one player away. We don’t have the player that will stand up. Last year, we’re scoring four goals a game and this year we’re struggling to score one.”

Woodbridge, ranked fourth in Orange County, didn’t score any Monday and lost to El Toro, 2-0, at Alton Park in a game that damaged the defending Southern Section Division III champion’s playoff hopes. Woodbridge (11-6-3, 2-4-1 in the Sea View League) is 1 1/2 games back of third-place Newport Harbor with four league games to play.


Meanwhile, El Toro, ranked sixth in Orange County, is looking like a team that could contend for the section title. The Chargers (14-3-4, 5-0-2) controlled play except for a few lapses in the second half and moved into sole possession of first place.

Junior Brian Stucker scored both El Toro goals and he could have scored at least two more if he had converted on several open shots. Stucker scored three minutes into the game on a header off a pass from Brian Harpst. Stucker headed in his second goal 10 minutes before half on a long pass from Wade Fraser.

“You try to play with them,” Szczuka said. “But if one guy doesn’t get you, the other one does.”

The other one was often forward Ron Davis, who was spectacular at setting up his teammates and controlling the ball.

“Davis has been the difference for us the last three games,” El Toro Coach Bob Chavez said. “He has really come on.”

Said Szczuka: “As long as they’re not peaking now, they could win it all.”