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Mariner starts season with 6-0 victory over Ida Baker

Perez scores three times, assists on two other goals

November 13, 2019
By PETE SISK ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

It was a big Tuesday night for Mariner senior Leo Perez, with an even bigger day Wednesday.

Perez scored three goals and assisted on two others as the Tritons opened the soccer season with a 6-0 victory against Ida Baker.

This afternoon, Perez is scheduled sign a national letter of intent to play collegiate soccer for the United States Naval Academy. Going to Navy means more than college soccer, since Annapolis opens the door to a career as an officer in the U.S. Navy.

Tuesday's game was closer than the final score until the final minutes, when a short-handed Ida Baker side ran out of gas. A Mariner lead of 2-0 at halftime and 3-0 at the second half water break was doubled in the final stages of play.

Sean Paul Negron scored shortly after the game began, and again seconds before the first half ended, both on assists by Perez.

Perez, meanwhile, was stonewalled on three point-blank shots by Bulldogs' goalie Elijah Perez during the first half.

"He did a really good job," Mariner coach Martin Cardenas said of Elijah Perez. "He did a really good job for them last year."

Leo Perez finally beat Elijah Perez on a shot just before the second half water break was called. When play resumed, an Ida Baker side missing four injured players finally gave way. Perez scored twice in about a minute to get his hat trick. Negron would score shortly before the end of the match for a hat trick of his own.

Jason Arias, Eddie Reyes and Matthew Arias had an assist each for the Tritons.

Junior Ochoa had a clean sheet -- a shutout -- while making one save in goal.

Bulldogs' coach Chris Greene was happy with his team's play under the circumstances.

"They got tired," Greene said. "We've got three -- four -- injured players right now. So we were down four of our top players. I think we held ourselves really, really well against a team of this caliber with four of our best guys down."

Cardenas said his side noticed the Bulldogs tiring before halftime.

"We talked about that at halftime," Cardenas said. "They were playing with a lot of enthusiasm. But we could see towards the end of the half they were starting to wear down a little bit."

Yet, until the last 21 minutes, Ida Baker made Mariner work despite a depleted side.

"That's what these guys are coming out of here with," Greene said. "Confidence."

It's a different year for Mariner, with the FHSAA having moved the Tritons into a district away from traditional rivals such as Cape Coral and North Fort Myers.

However, the different year also means a different way of making the playoffs.

As in an increasing number of FHSAA sports, soccer teams are no longer required to play district opponents during the regular season. District tournament seedings will be based on an points system.

In volleyball, Port Charlotte avoided playing Cape-area teams in its own district, seeking to gain more points playing tough teams. That earned the Pirates the top seed in the district tournament without ever playing a district foe.

Soccer is different. Not in whether or not you play district foes, but in the way local teams are perceived on the state level. Mariner doesn't have to travel to take on tough teams. There are plenty in the area.

There are two district teams, Desoto County and Bradenton Bayshore, on the schedule. There are also locals such as Cape, Ida Baker, North, Island Coast and Fort Myers on the slate, although the usual home-and-home won't necessarily be the case.

Cardenas said he had tried to schedule all the teams in his new District 4A-8, but could not get matches against Bradenton Booker or LaBelle.

For Ida Baker, previous years had the Bulldogs in a different classification than the other Cape area schools.

This year, however, Baker is in a district with Cape Coral, Island Coast and North Fort Myers.


Cape Coral 5, Estero 3: The Seahawks opened the year with a District 5A-11 home victory.

Cypress Lake 6, North Fort Myers 3: A road 5A-11 defeat began the season for the Red Knights.

South Fort Myers 5, Island Coast 2: The Gators also opened District 5A-11 play with a loss.

Tampa Catholic 6, Bishop Verot 0: It was a tough trip to Tampa for the Vikings, who were blanked in their season opener.

Canterbury 9, Oasis 0: The Sharks opened the year with a loss.

Girls soccer

Oasis 4, Canterbury 0: Jillian Rhone opened the scoring off a set play, curling the ball home from 35 yards out. Rhone scored twice in the second half off free kicks, and Viktoria Fahnemann completed the scoring. Delicia Ramos had a shutout in goal. Oasis is home at the Pelican Sports Complex on Thursday against Moore Haven.

Mariner 3, Ida Baker 1: Coach Jami Hagy's Tritons began the season with a win at Ida Baker.

Estero 5, Cape Coral 0: Tough night for the Seahawks, falling to Estero in a non-district match-up.

North Fort Myers 8, Cypress Lake 0: The Red Knights opened their season with a resounding victory in District 5A-11.

South Fort Myers 7, Island Coast 0: The Gators fell in their season and District 5A-11 opener.



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