Setting up for his free kick, Southeast's Polo Guzman was one step ahead of the East defenders.
With several short players lined up in front of him, Guzman guessed that the East players would jump in the air to stop his free-kick. So he kicked it on the ground.
Guzman's ball didn't have the desired force, but served its purpose, going in the goal with 23:06 left in the first half. The goal broke a scoreless tie and helped give the host Buffaloes to a 2-0 win in Tuesday's soccer match.
"I would have jumped, so I thought they'd jump and they did," said Guzman who is 5-foot-8. "The shot was a little sloppy and I didn't get the power behind it that I wanted, but it worked."
Never miss a local story.
Guzman's goal helped motivate Southeast, which dominated most of the game with its physical play. Guzman added a second goal, with an assist by Brian Beckman, with 19:22 remaining.
Southeast was fueled by a spirited defensive effort, coach Thomas Rhodes said. The Buffaloes (7-4, 6-0 City League) earned their fifth shutout by not allowing East to control the ball — especially senior Oliver Bradwell.
"I told them that he can't use his speed if he doesn't have the ball," Rhodes said. "Our keeper and defense played great."
East (5-3, 4-1) came into the game having outscored opponents 32-8, however they were without forward Joseph Yun, who is recovering from a hip injury.
"Their physical play hurt us more than anything," said East coach Jim Griffis. "We're good when we have possession and can pass the ball. We couldn't do that because of their physical play."
The win puts Southeast in the drivers' seat for the league title with South and West remaining on the schedule.
"It's not over yet, we have to keep this up and the kids know that," said Rhodes.
East0 0 —0 Southeast1 1 —2
First half—Southeast, Guzman. Second half— Southeast, Guzman (Beckman) Shots— East 3-2—5; Southeast 2-5—7. Saves— East, Rodriguez 1-4—5; Southeast, Rhodes 2-3—5.