If this is how Jesus Ochoa treats his family, one has to wonderwhat he has in store for the rest of the Academic Athletic Association.
The senior forward on the O’Connell boys’ soccer team scored three second-half goals against Mission (which happens to start his cousin Jose Gallardo-Marcias in net), leading the Boilermakers back from a 2-0 halftime deficit to a 3-3 tie Tuesday at Mission.
It was the AAA opener for both schools and a rematch of last year’s league semifinal that Mission won 1-0 on its way to the AAA and Transbay titles.
“I was joking with my cousin before the game, saying how I was going to score and we didn’t want to lose,” Ochoa said. “Mission’s a big rival and the schools are so close, so we know a lot of those guys. It felt great to be able to come back.”
Already down two goals, Ochoa first struck in the 45th minute, outrunning the Mission defense to a long pass and using his right foot to finish the partial breakaway.
Three minutes later, he tied the game, blindly flicking Oscar Duarte’s long free kick off the top of his head and into the back of the net.
And after Edgar Gomez-Carreto gave Mission the lead back in the 61st minute with his second goal of the game, Ochoa responded with yet another header off a free kick, this time nodding home an arcing ball Juan Espinoza struck from beyond midfield.
“[Jesus] has started since he was a freshman, but mainly as a defender,” O’Connell coach Bob Gamino said. “I told him I’d play him at forward unless we really needed him in the back, but I’d be crazy to put him back there now after a performance like that.”
Gamino also credited Espinoza, Edwin Acosta and Eddie Herrera with helping to settle the Boilermakers (0-0-1) down in their season opener.
The Bears (5-4-1, 0-0-1) controlled the first half, outshooting O’Connell 14-5 and stringing together several nice passing sequences.
Roberto Escobar scored the first goal of the game in the 28th minute, as he found Jairo Majano’s long free kick at his feet six yards from goal and slid the ball inside the left post.
Three minutes later, Mission went up 2-0, when Gomez-Carreto beat two defenders and rifled a shot inside the far post from just over 18 yards.
Majano, Juan Aguilar, Seph Kramer and Marvin Jimenez helped Mission control the ball and create chances, but Bears coach Scott Kennedy was disappointed with his team’s performance.
“We just talked about playing with pride,” Kennedy said of the Bears’ long postgame meeting. “It’s up to [the Mission players] if they want it, because right now that championship is wide open.”
In other AAA openers:
» Nick Keane, Eric Zhang and Edgar Linh all scored as Wallenberg topped Marshall 3-0.
» Diego Suarez had two goals and Carlos Santos scored once as Galileo defeated Lincoln 3-2.
» Lowell’s Matteo Di Giulo had the only goal as the Cardinals beat Burton 1-0.
O’Connell 0 3 — 3
Mission 2 1 — 3
M—Roberto Escobar (Jairo Majano), 28th minute
M—Edgar Gomez-Carreto, 31st minute
OC—Jesus Ochoa, 45th minute
OC—Ochoa (Oscar Duarte), 48th minute
M—Gomez-Carreto (Juan Aguilar), 61st minute
OC—Ochoa (Juan Espinoza), 68th minute