NEWPORT BEACH — Rudy Reyes began the celebration at home a tad early, yelling, “Yeaaaahhhh!” from just outside of his goal.
The goalkeeper believed Newport Harbor High’s match against Estancia was over when the referee blew his whistle. It wasn’t, as the ref called a foul, but Reyes was really the one who ended the Eagles’ undefeated start to the season.
The senior stopped everything the Eagles kicked or headed his way, helping the Sailors shut out Estancia, 2-0, in a nonleague match on Wednesday.
Reyes recorded his first shutout of the season and it came at a good time for Newport Harbor. The last time the Sailors played was a couple of days ago and they allowed a season-high six goals and lost.
“I was trying to see how we were going to respond,” said Coach Juan Mares, whose Sailors fell to El Toro, 6-4, in the Irvine Tournament Silver Division championship on Monday. "[The performance] rocked our defense, but [our defenders] held a shutout today, which is a great testament to them that they held it together.”
Reyes stood in the way of Estancia improving to 4-0.
The Eagles created the most scoring chances in the second half. A couple of them, Mares thought Estancia scored.
Each time Reyes came up with the ball. He leaped to snag headers, long shots on set pieces, finishing with eight saves.
Estancia grew frustrated and then its defense broke down a couple of times. On those two occasions, Newport Harbor (4-2-2) took advantage.
Jonny Arroyo set up the Sailors’ first goal. The sophomore striker came off the bench and took control of the ball on the left side, before feeding Christian Ochoa a nice pass.
Ochoa cut the defense and then beat keeper Danny Guerrero, giving Newport Harbor a 1-0 lead in the 61st minute.
Seeing the Sailors go ahead gave the Eagles a sense of urgency. Estancia went to work, getting off three shots in a three-minute span.
One came on a long set piece by Carlos Moreno. He tried to find the head of Abraham Cortez, but Reyes beat him to the ball deep in the box.
The next shot came from close range as Moreno dribbled from the right side. Reyes was there to protect the near post.
The hardest shot came from the middle, a line drive by Chris Gomez. Reyes fielded the ball, knowing the Sailors were 11 minutes away from winning.
Brice Manning tried to put the match away for the Sailors in the 73rd minute. The senior striker broke through two defenders, only to see his wide-open shot sail over the crossbar.
A couple of minutes later, Manning got another opportunity. This time, he finished.
Another Newport Harbor sophomore came off the bench to assist on a goal. Manolo Laguna found Manning and Manning did the rest to give the Sailors a 2-0 lead.
“We relied a lot on our defense,” said Estancia Coach Robert Castellano, who saw his team allow two goals for the second time this season.
The other time, Estancia won, beating Corona del Mar, 4-2, last week. The Eagles look to get back on the winning side when they open against Downey at the North Orange County Classic on Saturday.
Newport is at home Friday against University.
“That’s kind of a fun game for us,” said Mares, whose former assistant coach, John Roland, is in charge at University now. “He kind of knows how we play.”