Spivey plays huge in Dons’ CIF soccer opener

After having to watch Santa Barbara’s run to a CIF soccer championship last season because of a knee injury, Sanford Spivey is determined to do everything in his power to lead the Dons to a repeat title.

Spivey and Santa Barbara’s quest got off to a great start in lousy weather conditions Friday. The senior midfielder did all the scoring in a 3-1 victory over Chaminade in a CIF Division 1 first-round game at rain-drenched Peabody Stadium.

“It was definitely a team effort,” Spivey said. “The conditions definitely weren’t the best. I just threw three shots up there and they kind of slipped in.”

The victory advances the Dons (17-5-3) into a second-round match against Los Alamitos Wednesday. A coin-flip will determine the site.

The Boston University-bound Spivey gave Santa Barbara 1-0 lead off a deflection in the box following a corner kick.

After Chaminade tied the score in the 52nd minute Spivey delivered the game-winner on a great individual effort. He completed his hat trick with a 40-yard bomb that bounced off the goalkeeper’s hands, off the cross bar and landed over the goal line.

“I just got the chances and I went up and finished them,” said Spivey

“This is kind of his coming out party in these playoffs,” Santa Barbara coach Todd Heil said.

The Dons played well despite the slick field conditions. They outshot Chaminade, the No, 3 team from the Mission League, 13-4 and generated eight corner kicks, including five in the first half.

The Dons’ first goal was started by a corner kick in the 24th minute. Alberto Hernandez headed the ball into the six-yard box and it was knocked around until it landed at the feet of Spivey, who poked it in.

Chaminade’s Antonio Roble denied Santa Barbara a chance to go up 2-0 by kicking Matt Medina’s shot off the goal line.

The Eagles tied the score after a long throw was flicked in the box and Karam Gill jumped on the ball during a scramble and beat Dons’ goalkeeper Miguel Solis.

Despite losing the lead, Spivey said he was confident the Dons would regain the upper hand.

“I personally knew we were going to come back,” he said. “We definitely outplayed them, so we just relaxed and started passing the ball and got those two extra goals.”

Spivey took care of business in the 59th minute. Taking a pass from Marco Sanchez, he cut across the field, beat two defenders and unleashed a 22-yard shot that skipped past the Chaminade goalkeeper.

“That second one was phenomenal,” Heil raved. “He beat two or three kids and the shot was a low-level shot that was perfect in this weather, where it just skips.”

Heil deserved an assist on the third goal. Spivey had the ball near the Dons’ bench when his coach yelled, “Hit it in the box.” He launched the ball and it ended up in the net.

“Three goals in this weather is fantastic,” said Heil.

For Spivey, the fact he’s on the field for the playoffs this time is a thrill.

“I went out there today and all I want to do is score and help my team out and continue going on to the next round, and being there with (my teammates) and actually playing this time.”