Both back lines for the San Marcos and Ventura boys soccer teams were organized and active, and the teams played each other to a 1-1 stalemate.
The draw was the second Channel League match for the Royals who defeated Dos Pueblos 2-1 in its league opener.
Ventura is the ninth ranked team in CIF Division I and is undefeated on the season.
The game stayed scoreless until late into the second half as both defenses stifled any opportunities from the attacking players.
Centerbacks Ricky Lopez and Kevin Shaw led the defensive effort for San Marcos. Freshman goalkeeper Justin Vom Steeg, son of UCSB men’s soccer head coach Tim Vom Steeg, also had an excellent performance and made several clutch saves.
With 15 minutes to play in the match, sophomore forward Sam Strong finally broke through the Ventura defense. The Royals striker received the ball from midfielder Robbie Landeros with his back to the goal, quickly turned and put the ball into the top netting to earn his team a 1-0 lead.
“The skill that’s been shown so far has been very good,” assistant coach Jesus Landeros said about his team’s play.
The Cougars worked their way into a threatening position, and were awarded a free kick just outside the 18-yard box just two minutes after the San Marcos goal. They converted the spot kick to tie the game.
After the short flurry of goals, the defense bunkered down and the game ended in a tie.
San Marcos (5-4-4 overall, 1-0-1 league) will continue Channel League play on Tuesday at Santa Barbara.