Friday's entire affair was punishing physically for both teams, but it was East's one-two combination in goal with Leo Naranjo and Phillip Padilla that gave the Leopards the advantage.
Naranjo started the game, and the husky-voiced keeper could be heard throughout the field directing traffic and barking plays. Schenk says Naranjo is not just a shot-stopper but also a solid leader for East.
"Leo comes out and talks a lot very much takes control of the field," Schenk said. "He's got the voice to tell everyone what's happening."
East's first goal came in the 26th minute when Thomas Young was able to deposit a corner kick into the back of the net. Forward Erick Olivas said that the Leopards had been working on that play all week, and it paid dividends.
"We focus on executing certain plays, and Thomas was able to get a real good foot on the ball," Olivas said. "He's a solid shooter."
Padilla took over the keeper spot in the second half and held the Rams scoreless. Schenk said he likes Padilla's presence and strong leg.
"Since we've been doing this rotation, we've been undefeated," Schenk said. "Phillip has a big kick and plays really big in the box."
Olivas doubled East's lead in the 50th minute when he weaseled a ball away from Highland's keeper. The play started when Padilla drilled a free kick, and Olivas followed through the blocked kick and scored his second goal of the year.
"He's a smart player," Young said. "It was a real heads-up play. Really happy for him."
East's Hugo Olivera scored the final goal in injury time.