Hutton-to-Ibarra does it for Dons vs. Royals

San Marcos' Robert Landeros tries to keep his footing, and possession from the Dons' Alex Navarro.

Soccer is normally all about plays made with the feet. The Santa Barbara Dons had none of that on Tuesday, scoring the only goal of the game without the ball touching anyone’s boots.

The Dons recorded a 1-0 Channel League win over San Marcos on a play that started with a 25-yard throw-in from senior Jelan Hutton. Alfredo Ibarra pushed it far-post with his head for the score in the 24th minute.

Jelan Hutton leaps over Ian Hall's tackle near the sideline.

It was Ibarra’s eighth goal of the season.

“It’s amazing how far he can throw it,” Ibarra said of Hutton.

It’s not the first time Santa Barbara, now 2-0 in league play, has been able to score on a set piece from the sideline thanks to Hutton.

“It’s not a normal weapon for us but it’s something we have this year,” said Dons head coach Todd Heil. “And we’re trying to use anything we can.”

“I think the result is fair,” said Royals head coach Matt Winecki. “We made one mistake on a set piece. They punished us for it.”

The Royals fall to 1-1-1 in league play. After beating Dos Pueblos and drawing with Ventura last week, the Royals almost salvaged a point with a late goal.

Sam Strong put a powerful header on goal that Dons keeper Elvis Mancilla barely got a hand on. The ball rolled past Mancilla and would have gone in if not for Peter Gamboa’s game-saving clear off the goal line.

Alfredo Ibarra turns a ball upfield on Tuesday. Ibarra scored the game's only goal.

Gamboa’s heads-up play prevented Strong, a sophomore, from scoring a goal in each of the Royals’ first three league contests.

“Effort, just effort right there,” Heil said. “The goal keeper too. He called it a little later. But he made the recorver and just got a hand on the ball and knocked it down.

The win gives the Dons two league wins in two tries, with a game at Dos Pueblos on Thursday.

San Marcos takes on Buena on Thursday.