"That was the best 120 minutes," he said with a laugh. "Something just clicked."
Starting in the second half of Servite's Friday semifinal win over Paramount and carrying through Saturday's Lotto Sport Western Showcase final against Auburndale -- a full 120 minutes, Servite was simply unstoppable. In Saturday's final, Cade Fuller scored twice and Brett Lux added two assists as Servite cruised past a battered and bruised Auburndale team 5-0 at San Clemente's Thalassa Stadium.
"I think the Paramount match was important to us," Spencer said, referring to the team's semifinal match. "It got our guy's attention. We showed a commitment to pressure and defense."
And with that, came offense.
First, a pair of second-half goals to win Friday's match over Paramount 3-1 after the match was tied at 1 at halftime.
Then, goals in bunches Saturday -- three in the first half and two in the second as FAB 50 No. 5 Servite, the highest-ranked team at the event, humbled previously undefeated and No. 25 Auburndale.
Fuller got things started with a nifty left-footed flick for a 1-0 lead early. Alex La Brie cashed in a Brett Lux service after the ball bounced around in the box. Not long after, junior Zuriel Silva added a goal to make it 3-0. The shellshocked Auburndale team didn't have an answer for Servites size, speed and quality.
Fuller capitalized on a defensive miscue with 19 minutes left and Kyle Pearce capped the scoring less than five minutes later.
THIRD PLACE: San Clemente (Calif.) 3. Paramount (Calif.) 0: San Clemente scored twice in the first five minutes of the second half to put away Paramount and secure the Tritons' highest Lotto Sport Western Showcase finish.
FIFTH PLACE: St. Paul's (La.) 3, Buchanan (Calif.) 0: St. Paul's went through the three-game event without allowing a goal, yet finished as the fifth-place team. The Wolves fell in penalty kicks in the opener following a scoreless tie and followed that with shutout wins over Watsonville and Buchanan.
St. Paul's was in control for large stretches of the match and received goals from James Bryant, Justin Savoie and Jack Bonaldi.
Kyle Schmitt, who played all but about 10 seconds in goal during the tournament, recorded the shutout.
The past two years Watsonville has entered national tournaments with undefeated records only to end up in the seventh-place contests. The
Wildcatz seemed headed for another eight-place finish as Corona del Sol create plenty of scoring chances. But early in the second half, Herrera broke the scoreless match with his first goal.
Last year, Corona del Sol went 3-0 and won the Showcase. This year, the team went 0-3.
ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM (Selected by coaches)
*F/M Blake Bowen, San Clemente (Calif.), Jr.
F Erik Herrera, Watsonville (Calif.), Sr.
F Dante Lavigne, Auburndale (Fla.), Jr.
M Preston Grayson, Corona del Sol (Ariz.), Sr.
M Noah Sims, Auburndale (Fla.), Jr.
**M Marc Trejo, Servite (Calif.), Sr.
M/F Tristan Weber, San Clemente (Calif.), Sr.
D Nicolas Hernandez, Servite (Calif.), Sr.
D Koosha Jadbabaei, San Clemente (Calif.), Jr.
D Alex La Brie, Servite (Calif.), Sr.
**D Corbin Mercado, Servite (Calif.), Sr.
D Austin Roberts, Buchanan (Calif.), Sr.
D Mason Robicheaux, St. Paul's, Sr.
GK Kyle Schmitt, St. Paul's, Sr.
GK Oscar Sierra, Paramount, Sr.
**- Co-MVP; *-Consolation Match MVP.
Saturday's Standout Performers
F/M Blake Bowen, San Clemente (Calif.), Jr.: Bowen finished with a tournament-best four goals, including two in the third-place match Saturday. He's very quick and efficient, and seldom loses the ball when attacking.
F Cade Fuller, Servite (Calif.), Jr.: Big, strong, fast with good touch. Fuller scored twice in Saturday's final and both times outrunning defenders, once slotting a nice left-footed shot into the far post side netting; the other a tap-in following a defensive miscue.
F Erik Herrera, Watsonville (Calif.), Sr.: Herrera scored twice, leading Watsonville to its first major tournament win in two years.
F Alex Gonzalez, Watsonville (Calif.), Sr.: Gonzalez makes a lot happen for Watsonville, thanks to his speed. He dropped back into more of a midfielder role and that helped generate more offense for the team.
M Preston Grayson, Corona del Sol (Ariz.), Sr.: Grayson was consitantly the best player on the field for Corona del Sol.
M/D Liam Linas, San Clemente (Calif.), Jr.: Linas is usually a right back, but was pushed forward to right midfield and proved very productive. His efforts were rewarded with a goal early in the second half.
M Andres Sandoval, Paramount (Calif.), Sr.: Showed good athletic moves to create some chances. He's usually one of Paramount's top offensive threats and Saturday was his best showing at the event.
M Conner Walmsley, St. Paul's (La.), Jr.: St. Paul's received goals from several players, but the one common thread seemed to be Walmsley. He had two assists Saturday capping two very strong outings to end the tournament.
D Mitchell Carpenter, Corona del Sol (Ariz.), Sr.: Carpenter pushed up into the offense and provided a lot of energy in the team's attack.
D Alex La Brie, Servite (Calif.), Sr.: La Brie was part of a lock-down defense that helped Servite shut out Auburndale. For good measure, La Brie got involved in the attack, scoring the team's second goal in a 5-0 win.
GK Kyle Schmitt, St. Paul's (La.), Sr.: Schmitt posted his third shutout of the tournament and the senior keeper has yet to allow a goal this season. He was not put under much pressure Saturday, but still was in complete control.