“I got a little winded,” the freshman from La Quinta said, before flashing a smile. “I need more running, coach. Just kidding, just kidding.”
Ibarra and the Pirates (2-0) could afford to laugh a little bit, after scoring three goals in the opening 26 minutes. Ibarra opened the scoring just over a minute into the game, when his straightaway rocket shot from just outside the box found the upper part of the net, despite a leaping deflection by Palomar goalie Ramon Gonzales.
Orange Coast added to the lead in the 25th minute. Freshman forward Briant Rodelo dribbled the ball at the top of the box, before feeding it to sophomore midfielder John Shinjo on the left. Shinjo’s low shot beat the goalie for a 2-0 advantage.
Ibarra then scored again in the very next minute. His strike, again from the top of the box, found the lower-left corner, and the Pirates were cruising.
“We tried a new formation,” Ibarra said. “This time, I played a little bit back, behind the forwards. It gives me a chance to attack more. When I’ve got the ball, I’ve got more time to create spaces. I have all the time in the world to take a shot.
“... We’re starting on the right foot. We have good chemistry off the bat. The team’s looking good. Obviously, the results are speaking for themselves.”
A stout defense, anchored by sophomores Scotty Locken and Eduardo Garcia, as well as freshman Colin Heim, helped keep Palomar (0-2) off the board. Freshman goalie Jake Mahlstedt played the whole game and made five saves.
Locken played for the Pirates in 2005, before spending two years on a Mormon mission trip in the Philippines.