The rain came for the first 15 minutes of the match, but then held off for the remainder.
More than the elements, Corona del Mar High boys’ soccer junior goalkeeper Wally Korbler had to worry about a dangerous, quick and technically proficient Estancia side on Wednesday night.
Korbler and the Sea Kings defense were ultimately up to the challenge.
He made eight saves and earned his team’s third straight shutout as CdM won the nonleague match 2-0 at Estancia High.
Corona del Mar (4-0), guided by first-year coach Damien O’Brien, continued its hot start to the season as a team. So did senior center forward Niko Urban. He has scored at least one goal in each of the Sea Kings’ matches, and continued the streak Wednesday as he struck in the 20th minute.
Urban took a touch from Aidan Holmes in the left side of the box, and connected on a cross-cage rocket from about 15 yards out. It was the fifth goal of the season for Urban, who said he had eight goals all of his junior year.
“I think it’s the type of start I’m looking for and the team’s looking for,” Urban said. “We want to keep on winning all the way through the season. That’s the mentality that we want … I think we’re building up to the challenge [of winning the Surf League]. I think we can take it.”
CdM senior midfielder Matt Katz, who briefly came off in the first half with a hurt ankle after colliding with Estancia goalkeeper Victor Jacinto, doubled the Sea Kings’ lead in the 68th minute. The goal was fortunate, as his shot bounced off an Estancia defender before settling in the lower-left part of the net.
It was a busy match for Katz, as he earned a yellow card earlier in the second half after voicing his displeasure at an Estancia challenge.
The match got chippy for a bit, but CdM was able to preserve the shutout, its third straight after a 2-0 win over Brea Olinda on Nov. 30 and a 3-0 win at JSerra on Monday.
Korbler and the Sea Kings defense of Chris Cruttenden, Zane Weaver, Grant Glessing, Sean Dannelly and Chris Flori preserved the shutout. It wasn’t easy, with Estancia (3-2-1) boasting pieces like junior forward Marcos Arreola and senior midfielder Gerrardo Leon.
Estancia had more than a few chances in the box, but came away empty.
“They were really good offensively,” Korbler said. “I had to come out a lot, because they were playing through balls constantly, but I thought we did pretty well holding a high line and not letting them get through. Grant and Zane were keeping a good watch on [Arreola]. I tried to stay on top of my game. I had to have quick reflexes … busy game.”
Arreola, a converted center back who has six goals this season, came off late with what Estancia coach Robert Castellano said may be a hamstring injury. Castellano said Arreola might sit out the Eagles home match Friday against Godinez, as he will be needed with the Orange Coast League opener at Saddleback on Dec. 14 on the horizon.
“[Korbler] was very quick off his line, like a safety in football ready to pounce,” Castellano said. “He read the balls pretty well. I felt that we had some crosses in the first half that we should have put in … but I was happy the way we played.
“After the second goal, obviously, that deflated us, but for the most part we worked on a lot of stuff [Tuesday] in practice and we did it in the game today. We just didn’t capitalize on our chances, unfortunately.”