As the sun dominated the cloudless sky above the Ventura Aquatics Center, senior Evan Somma gained possession of the ball and advanced into the Hueneme Vikings territory. Just as Somma passed the ball, junior Andres Coppa instantly scored the first of many goals.
On Tuesday, the Dragons played against Hueneme High School at their first home game of the season. The Dragons played their way to victory, defeating the Vikings with a final score of 12-0.
The first quarter started out with a bang as Coppa scored Foothill’s first goal less than two minutes into the game. About four minutes separated Foothill’s first and second score, as senior Parker Harris sent a ball into the back of the net with one minute and 35 seconds left on the clock.
Shortly after, senior Niko Ford was given a penalty shot, and capitalizing the opportunity, scored the last goal of the first quarter with a 3-0 lead over the Vikings.
Within the first 15 seconds of the second quarter, sophomore Ben Clinton threw the ball to junior Nicholas Parker, who scored Foothill’s fourth goal of the game. Shortly thereafter, sophomore Ian Canby scored his first goal of the game, making the score 5-0.
After the Vikings attempted to score twice in retaliation, four more goals were scored by the Dragons, including two from junior Garrett Mann, and one from both Parker and sophomore Zion Denzel. With that, the buzzer sounded and the first half came to a close, where the Dragons had a comfortable 9-0 lead.
Junior Devon Pennington started off the third quarter for the Dragons, as he was the sprinter and retrieved first possession of the ball. However, the Dragons did not score until about halfway through the quarter when Coppa scored Foothill’s 10th goal of the game.
Seconds after Coppa’s goal, a Hueneme player attempted to score a goal, but struck the top crossbar, and the score remained 10-0 in the Dragons’ favor. With a minute left in the quarter, the Dragons struck again, scoring twice more. Pennington was responsible for both goals, padding the Dragons’ lead, 12-0.
Although the Dragons retrieved the first ball, the fourth quarter was relatively quiet for today’s standards, as neither team was able to find the back of the net. Many goals were attempted by the Vikings, but they were unable to score. After seven minutes of scoreless playing time, the buzzer sounded, signaling the end of the game. The Dragons had defeated defeated the Vikings with a final score of 12-0.
Although the Dragons won easily over Hueneme, Head Coach David Wallace offered his thought on what the mentality should always be.
“No matter who or what obstacles you face in the game, you’ve got to come out and play hard all the time,” he said.
Wallace noted the performances of sophomore Gage Corsi and Pennington, who he believes made an important contribution to the team.
Corsi, the backup goalie for the Dragons, had “several blocks” and did not allow the opposing team to score any goals in his playing time. Corsi and junior Alex Abele were able to shut out the Vikings on Foothill’s defensive end.
Pennington had some “very nice and […] very smart shots” throughout the game, according to Wallace. He proved to be a major part of the Dragons’ offense, scoring twice in the game.
Abele, who is “very excited to play with this group of gentlemen,” still believes that despite the win, “there’s always room for improvement.”
He also implied that playing as a team is critical for their success throughout the rest of the season.
“As individuals, we are all trying to get better, and as a team, that will come with [it],” he said.
Coppa also thinks that the team has improved since last season and will continue to grow stronger in the pool.
“We are a lot better this year and we are going to get better,” Coppa said.
Foothill Athletics Director Emily Stevens believes that to keep playing well, the team will “quicken their pace when they play a tougher team.”
“[I think] that they’ll be real competitive,” she said.
The Dragons will compete in the “Varsity Conqueror Classic Tournament” held by Los Altos High School on Friday, Sept. 16 and Saturday, Sept. 17.
Coppa aspires for the team to improve its record and make it farther into the playoffs as the season progresses.
“I just hope that we can go far and win more games than we have in the previous years,” he said.
Feature Photo Credit: Abigail Massar / The Foothill Dragon Press