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Wonders lose season opener

The result may have been eerily similar and who knows if this is going to be the same Nevada Wonders soccer team from last year.

A judgement certainly can’t be made on one game. But despite the result, it’s clear that the Wonders are much further ahead this season than they were in their inaugural season last year.

The Wonders, who won only one game last year, played virtually on even terms with one of the Premiere Development League’s top teams, with the exception of two defensive mistakes. Steve Patterson took advantage of those mistakes to score both goals to give the Orange County Blue Stars a 2-0 win on Saturday at Carson High.

Orange County tied for the division title last year with the Fresno Fuego and advanced far into the PDL playoffs.

“We gave away the two goals,” Wonders coach Paul Aigbogun said. “It was even I thought from that.

“This is our first time together as a team in any capacity. Once we get used to each other… I thought we did quite well. We went out and fought.”

While the Wonders are hoping to have more firepower on offense this year, they are still without all of their firepower and it showed. The Wonders still have several forwards they have signed that won’t be available until next week.

“I expected it for the first few games,” said Aigbogun about his team’s offensive struggles.”

Because the Wonders weren’t at full strength, Chris Blackburn, who will be counted on to set up the Wonders offense at midfield, had to play defense on Saturday. Aigbogun also had to come into to play defense late in the game. “He’s got to be in the midfield,” said Aigbogun about Blackburn.

But Aigbogun said he’s pleased with where his team is compared to last year. “It’s not really doom and gloom,” he said.

The Wonders also received an outstanding effort from goalie Carlos Rengifo, who made 11 saves, most of them coming in the second half. His best sequence came in the second half when he made a diving save on Patterson in front of the goal and then was able to recover to stop the rebound.

Moments later, the Wonders threatened to score, but Leon Abravanel couldn’t control the ball in front of the goal as the Blue Stars’ goalie came out and finally gained control.

The mistakes that Patterson’s goals were scored came off of a corner kick and on a header. The Wonders best chance in the first half came on another scramble in front of the goal when Geoffrey Scott couldn’t gain control of the ball. Among those who took shots for the Wonders were Scott, Rafael Leora and Blackburn.