Fountain Valley boys’ soccer runs past Newport Harbor

Longtime Fountain Valley High boys’ soccer coach Jason Smith used a couple of key terms to describe his team.

Smith, in his 21st season in charge of the Barons, characterized this current group as one that plays with pace and is unselfish.


The proof he offered up was the Barons’ 5-0 win at home against Orange Lutheran on Monday, a victory that saw five different players score goals.

Two days later, the high-scoring Barons were at it again.


Sebastian Rus had a goal and two assists to lead Fountain Valley to a 3-2 win at Newport Harbor in a Sunset Conference crossover match on Wednesday night.

The Barons (6-1) have scored 21 goals in seven games.

“We just start off strong,” said Rus, who opened the scoring in the second minute. “We play unselfish. We try to find the best shot that we can and just play strong, really. Play confident.”

Fountain Valley looked to run from the start, and the shots the Barons took were meant to find the twine. The Barons looked to pick corners throughout the first half, taking Newport Harbor senior goalkeeper Emilio Carbajal out of the equation.

Only three of the Barons’ first 10 shots were on goal, but the ones that were all found the back of the net.

Fountain Valley doubled its lead in the 21st minute. Malachi Wright won the ball in the air against Newport Harbor’s Giovanni Guzman. From there, the Sailors had a two-on-none breakaway. Rus forced Carbajal to commit at the right post, and Wright finished off a cross from Rus into a wide-open net.

“It’s very important to win 50-50 battles because if you don’t win 50-50 battles, then it can go the opposite way, so you just have to be hard and strong on the 50-50 battles,” Wright said. “I found [Rus], and he found me, and it was a goal.”

Newport Harbor High's Rory McRory heads the ball against visiting Fountain Valley during the first half of a Sunset Conference crossover match on Wednesday.
Newport Harbor High's Rory McRory heads the ball against visiting Fountain Valley during the first half of a Sunset Conference crossover match on Wednesday. (Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Newport Harbor (2-5-1) got on the board in the 28th minute. Jacob Rodriguez earned a free kick at the top of the box when he challenged Barons junior center back Connor Wright.

Junior midfielder Jack Starnes took the free kick, sending it low through Fountain Valley’s wall of defenders. David Barber made the initial stop for the Barons, one of three by the keeper, but Nicolas Del Villar got a foot on the rebound to cut the Sailors’ deficit to 2-1.

The Barons used an array of stretch passes to fuel their offense, running into open space to track down through balls. In the 35th minute, Rus played the ball ahead for Tyler Le. The junior forward sprinted ahead of the defense, scoring to give Fountain Valley a 3-1 lead heading into halftime.

In the second half, Fountain Valley continued to apply the pressure. Carbajal made a couple of leaping saves to send shots over the crossbar.

“I thought Emilio did a great job,” Sailors coach Ignacio Cid said. “I think he had some very, very big saves.”

Newport Harbor managed to strike again in the 74th minute, as Starnes put a shot inside the back post from a sharp angle near the left corner flag.

Smith felt that his team had chances to extend the lead in the second half, and when the Barons failed to do so, the game got interesting late.

“The first 20 minutes of the second half, we were the better team,” Smith said. “I liked the way we were playing. Their goalie made some good saves, but we missed some easy chances. In soccer, if you put that much pressure on a team, you create that many chances, and you don’t get anything out of it, then that’s the end result. That game just became a lot more difficult, and it didn’t need to be.

“We’ve got to finish teams when we can. We got to stop conceding multiple goals a game. We just got to be better, but we got a result, and we can learn from this game.”