As far as early-season tests go, the Palos Verdes boys soccer team has received two on consecutive nights at the Adidas West Coast Showcase.
After playing Century to a 1-1 draw on Dec. 12, PV fought back for another 1-1 draw against host Downey on Dec. 13.
Johnny Granick scored the equalizer for the Sea Kings in the second half.
Century and Downey could be potential opponents for PV in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs.
“Better second half, better last 15 minutes of the first half,” PV coach Derek Larkins said. “They (Downey) was torching us in the midfield in the first 25 minutes. We don’t mind conceding possession if it is not going anywhere, but they were getting penetrating passes in the middle and we had to make a couple of adjustments, and after that, I thought we did great.”
Downey opened the scoring in the first half off of a quick, short corner kick. Justin Covarrubias played the ball to Anthony Robledo, who fired toward goal with a shot that eluded the PV goalkeeper.
“What we haven’t done is we haven’t defended set pieces well,” Larkins said. “Both goals we’ve given up (in this tournament), trick play on a corner kick to Century and Downey making a great play, going fast and we’ve talked about that we can’t do that.”
The Sea Kings went into halftime and came out seemingly more energized and intent on taking control of the game.
“Great energy in the second half. We talked about it, first half, I thought we were a little quiet,” Larkins said. “The second half, you could hear our bench, everybody was into it and it became contagious on the field. That’s who we are. We’ll have games where we will play 20 guys, but the guys on the bench did their job.
“I think we broke them down a little bit in the second half. We had some good opportunities at the end. That’s a good sign because last year we didn’t see that, especially early in the season. We weren’t getting those opportunities and I have a good feeling that at some point, the floodgates are going to open.”