Early flurry of goals lifts St. Gregory’s past Eagles 3-2

Ricardo Chinchilla handles the ball against a St. Gregory's defender on Monday night. Chinchilla assisted on both of OC's goals in a 3-2 loss to the Cavaliers.
Ricardo Chinchilla handles the ball against a St. Gregory's defender on Monday night. Chinchilla assisted on both of OC's goals in a 3-2 loss to the Cavaliers.

OKLAHOMA CITY (Sept. 23, 2013) – St. Gregory’s scored three goals in the first 34 minutes and held on for a 3-2 win over Oklahoma Christian on Monday night.

OC (2-2-1), playing in its home opener, rallied from an early one-goal deficit against St.  Gregory’s (4-2), but couldn’t generate much effective offense after the first 16 minutes of the game against the physical Cavaliers.

An outstanding performance by OC goalkeeper Connor Davenport, who made 11 saves – at least three of the spectacular variety – kept the Eagles close, but they managed only two second-half shots as St. Gregory’s outshot them 23-10 for the game.

“If he wasn’t back there, it could have been worse than what it was, which is disappointing, because … the game shouldn’t have gone the way that it did,” OC men’s soccer coach David Scott said.

St. Gregory’s took advantage of an OC ballhandling error to score its first goal just 80 seconds into the match. Arturo Flores scored on assists from Mark Dunleavy and Christian Alleyne.

The Eagles bounced right back. Cody Cook took a pass from Ricardo Chinchilla – who had driven down the field after taking the ball near midfield after a long clearing pass from Sergio Garcia – and tied the game in the 13th minute. In the 16th minute, Chinchilla fed Domenico DeGrazia, whose blast from 12 yards beat St. Gregory’s goalkeeper Brock Vorwald to put OC up 2-1.

Eight minutes later, Flores collected a loose ball following a corner kick and got it to Marcus Miranda, who scored to pull the Cavaliers even at 2-2. They took the lead in the 34th minute on an unassisted goal by Stephen Cummins.

Just when it seemed the goal-scoring would continue, it stopped and never resumed. It didn’t help matters for the Eagles that they were missing five players from their usual rotation due to injuries.

“We’re young, and a lot of the mistakes we’re making are just inexperience,” Scott said. “It’s a lot of things we talk about in practice and try to break them from, since day one, but just a lot of guys still kind of naïve to the college game. A lot of the mistakes that we make put us under pressure and have led to goals.”

Vorwald finished with four saves for the Cavaliers.

OC will return to action Friday at 7:30 p.m., hosting Eastern New Mexico.