La Serna keeper Steven Goetzinger turned in two of his three saves during the overtime, but his most critical save came early in the second half. In the 46th minute, Whittier forward Jesus Lazaro was tripped from behind while in the penalty box. On the ensuing penalty kick, Goetzinger scooped up the low shot to maintain the scoreless tie. “Our defense is incredible,” said Cardinals first-year coach Saul Mendoza, splitting the coaching duties with Rafael Mendoza. “We didn’t finish some goals we should have. We had opportunities, but our defense kept us in the game.” The Cardinals (2-5-1, 0-0-1) pressured La Serna throughout the game, sending forwards Lazaro and sophomore Mario Esquer after long balls from Anaya and Sanabria. Led by a pair of juniors – sweeper Michael Ellison and defender Luis Perez – the Lancers’ defense met the challenge, limiting Whittier to nine shot attempts. “We hustled – we’re in good shape, probably in better shape than (Whittier) – and we’re aggressive,” Savala said. “We were utilizing the whole field. At halftime we said that we (had to) use the outside, and we started moving the ball well.” Said Saul Mendoza: “We’re rebuilding this year. We only have four seniors in our starting lineup so we’re looking to the future, but this year we will compete in league.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan ClarksonAfter a somewhat sloppy first half in which both teams seemed content to put the ball in open space and let a teammate run to it, the Lancers (2-8-1, 0-0-1) took control of midfield behind the play of freshman Travis Davila. The Cardinals’ defense, led by junior sweeper Albert Sanabria, senior Jorge Mora, sophomore midfielder Jonathan Quezada and keeper Gustavo Anaya, consistently turned La Serna away. “That’s been our problem all year,” Lancers coach Jerrod Savala said. “We’re good between the two 18s (penalty boxes) but can’t put the ball in the goal. “We didn’t have trouble controlling the game, but if you don’t score, you don’t win.” La Serna created 18 shot attempts for the game, forcing Anaya to turn in seven saves. WHITTIER – Whittier High School’s boys soccer team, hosting La Serna on Thursday, provided the necessary defense to earn a 0-0 tie in overtime in a Del Rio League opener. Both teams had scoring opportunities in regulation and in the two 10-minute periods that constituted the overtime, but the respective defenses denied the opposition.