Jacob Muchnick might find that story embarrassing, but everyone saw the “Jake rabbit” on display at the Costa Mesa Farm Sports Complex. Whittier couldn’t miss him, as Muchnick scored twice and had three assists in Harbor Day’s 6-0 victory.
Muchnick plays on the Irvine Strikers club team and the AYSO Region 57 Plus team, with kids that are a year or two older. He probably could have scored more Sunday, but he was the playmaker, with his big runs up the field. He had numerous crosses to teammates and expertly played the ball ahead, even trying a give-and-go or two. The one goal he scored was spectacular, as he took a long, bouncing goal kick from goalie Jake Hamilton, controlled it and made a move on the Whittier goalie before scoring.
Muchnick’s older brother Justin is a sixth-grader and also played in the tournament. Both made their father, Coach Adam Muchnick, proud. But so did the team play of the Harbor Day winners, from Zack Karro’s three goals to single goals from Cameron Schwartz and Matteo Merage. They played well against a Whittier team that had allowed just four combined goals in four previous games.
Then again, Harbor Day scored a division-high 33 goals in its five Pilot Cup games.
“We need everybody,” Karro said. “It’s a team.”
It helped to have Jacob Muchnick. He scored 19 goals in the tournament.
Then there was the defense of Corbin Vaicek. Harbor Day had heard about the Whittier forward and top goal-scorer Carlos Guerrero, the one with the purple cleats. So Adam Muchnick gave Vaicek one job.