CHICAGO HEIGHTS | The Marian Catholic boys soccer team is only two games into their season, and Alec Guarino is already liking what he's seeing.
The Spartans shut out Mount Carmel 3-0 in the first round of the Reavis Windy City Ram Classic. Guarino scored two goals and notched an assist in the win, while Spartans keeper Chris Taborn had three saves to pick up his second shutout in as many games.
"We're coming on strong this season," Guarino said. "We're usually not as strong as where we are now. We're already having a better season than usual. The passing's good, finishing is a little bit better, communication, everything."
Luiscarlo Avila started the scoring for the Spartans when he connected off of a Guarino cross at 17:26 of the first half. Avila had his initial shot bounce off of the defender's leg and come right back to him, before he drove the ball into the corner of the net.
Guarino then added his first goal of the night less than seven minutes later off of a Cody Rodas free kick. Rodas sent the ball into the middle of the Caravan box where Guarino put a head on in for the 2-0 Marian Catholic lead.
"Everything is looking good early on," Guarino said of the Spartan's 2-0 start to the season. "We need a little bit more stamina, but besides that, everything is looking pretty good."
The Spartans (2-0) then played the Caravan (0-1) to a stalemate in the second half before Guarino added his second goal with 3:47 left in the match. Down 2-0, Mount Carmel came out much stronger in the second half but were unable to connect on their scoring chances.
"I just didn't see them connecting the way we have in previous practices," Mount Carmel coach Tony Godinez said. "We were on our toes and we were defending a lot in the first half. We had a couple opportunities, but it wasn't really anything real concrete."
The Spartans will move on to face Andrew on Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at Marian Catholic. The Spartans started their season on Monday with a 1-0 win over Andrew at Andrew, and Taborn is sure the Thunderbolts will be looking for payback.
"We beat them on their field," Taborn said. "I feel like they're going to be really pumped up to play us again, so we have to come out stronger than we were on Monday."