Enterprise staff writer
Davis High was in good hands on Wednesday Ñ literally.
Most of the time, soccer is a game played with the feet, but when Blue Devil attacker Max Flye fashioned assists with two early throw-ins, visiting Dixon was behind quickly.
In the end, the locals rolled to a 3-1 boys soccer victory over the cross-county rival Rams at Yudin Field.
But it was FlyeÕs pinpoint passing that started Davis on its way to its fifth straight win and 11th in 13 tries this season.
For the first goal, Flye sent a 30-yard throw-in to a streaking Matt Austin, who joined the landing ball in the box for a one-touch goal.
ÒIt was a beautiful goal,Ó Blue Devil head coach Ashley Yudin said of the Flye-to-Austin connection.
Moments later, another Flye throw-in found Ryan Gross in the box. This time Gross headed the ball past diving Dixon goalkeeper Carlos Lopez.
ÒIÕve been working on (the throw-ins) since I was 11 or 12,Ó Flye explained. ÒPeople have to defend it now. Some teams know what I do and they look for it, but weÕve had three goals off throw-ins this year.Ó
With Alex Meyers, Alex OÕHearn, Jesus Herrera, Quinn Kesser, Gross and Alex Vivona continually turning the Rams away Ñ quickly returning the ball to the Davis attack zone Ñ Cyrus Ghaffari capitalized by earning a Devil penalty kick.
Taking a Ram defender to the corner, Ghaffari turned on the afterburners, slicing down the backline toward the goal. When the senior captain was tackled in the box, it set up VivonaÕs PK and the final Davis tally.
Cruising at the half, Yudin told his guys they pushed the ball Òreally well on offense … I like your attack speed and the wings were doing well.Ó
Credit Dixon coach Sergio Perez for solid second-half adjustments, as Dixon held the Blue Devils to just four shots after the break.
Meanwhile, the Rams scored at 13:15 of the second half, when Javier MataÕs long-distance direct kick made it to the Davis box. After a scramble in which Devil goalie Erik Anderson apparently got gloves on the ball, Hans Rotteveel poached a goal on a two-yard flick.
Later, Anderson made a brilliant sliding kick save after DixonÕs Julio Reyes broke through the Davis defense and fired point-blank.
At that moment, the Blue Devils had not taken a shot after intermission.
But AndersonÕs save was a wake-up call for the offense. Over the final 20 minutes, Davis outshot Dixon, 4-0, taking two corners to none. The score, however, remained unchanged.
For the game, the Devils outshot their visitors, 12-4.
Now, the locals enter Delta Valley Conference play. First up is Grant on Tuesday, then a Thursday game with Laguna Creek. Both matches are at Davis at 4 p.m. On Oct. 2, at Halden Field, the Blue Devils meet arch-rival Jesuit at 7 p.m.
Notes: Flye had a goal called back (offsides on Ghaffari) six minutes into the second half. Herrera, Chuy to his teammates and friends, is pulling double duty this fall. Not only has the senior been a reliable midfielder on the soccer team, he also has a gig as the Blue Devil football teamÕs long-distance place kicker. Herrera Ñ when not playing soccer on Fridays Ñ handles kickoff chores and field goals from afar. He shares the duties with Samantha Houck, who has nailed a 27-yarder this season. In the football teamÕs loss to Wood on Friday, Herrera missed wide left from 47 yards. The kick had plenty of distance and Ñ had it been three feet farther right Ñ it would have tied the DHS record for longest field goal. Herrera says Devil grid coach Steve Smyte approached him. ÒYou have a big foot, coach told me,Ó Chuy reports. ÒI work with them on Thursdays and play when (I can).Ó
ÑÊReach Bruce Gallaudet at firstname.lastname@example.org or (530) 747-8056. Comment on this story at www.davisenterprise.com