Boys’ soccer kicks off season with a 4-1 win against Nordhoff


Riyanna De La Rosa

Sam Valdez ’20 rears up to kick the ball up the field

Alex Jannone and Jacob Guthrie

The air was numbing on the sidelines of the Ventura College stadium on Dec. 2 as the boys’ soccer team prepared to face off against Nordhoff High School. Despite the cold weather, the stadium was filled with fans ready to cheer on the Dragons as they competed in their first home game of the season. Foothill secured a victory with an overall score of 4-1. 

The Dragons’ high energy was visible from the kickoff, and within the first 30 seconds, an offensive push drew the Toads to commit a penalty in the box. With a quick tap to finish, Jacob Girardot ‘20 scores an early goal, pushing the Dragons ahead to a 1-0 lead. 



After several transitions from one end zone to the next, Edleo Contreras ‘20 draws another foul outside of the box. A swift pass to Kyeler Brant ‘20 set Contreras up for yet another goal, but the opportunity was missed.

Nordhoff controlled the ball on Foothill’s side of the field, and fans watched with anticipation that the opponents would put one in the back of our net until Thomas Eris ‘21 boots the ball forward and allows the Dragons to shift the pressure back on the Toads.

Diego Ocampo ‘22 earns an opportunity to put another point on the board, but isn’t able to follow through, ending the first half with a final score of 1-0.

The game reached the halfway mark, and both teams strategized at their respective benches. “The seniors’ leadership is helping a lot, they are all stepping up to the plate,” said coach Luis Sanchez. 



All was silent until a kick-off from Brant brings the field into action. Michael Hernandez ‘22 takes a shot on goal but the ball gets deflected by Nordhoff, allowing the Dragons to take a corner kick. Ethan Diaz ‘22 takes the kick, but the ball passes by the Dragons and ends up in the Toads’ possession.

The ball stumbles down to the Dragons’ side of the field, and after some movement from Nordhoff, Samuel Valdez ‘20 steals the ball and pushes forward to Contreras, who shoots slightly over the goal.

After some commotion between both sides, Eris makes a swift cross pass to Kyle Granier ‘20 who taps it into the goal, giving the Dragons a two-point lead.

Nordhoff quickly takes offense and earns a foul inside the box. They manage to put the ball in the net, putting the game at a score of 2-1. 

Foothill quickly recovers as Owen Hanson ‘20 counters and kicks the ball straight into the corner of the goal, allowing the Dragons to pick up their momentum with a score of 3-1.

After a save from Luke Shadden ‘21, Foothill pushes forward and Brant is able to score off of a foul, ending the game with a final score of 4-1. 

Gavin Cattanach ‘21,  a central player in the match, believes that the team was able to stay calm and make proper passes, and the energy from the fans helped them stay on top. “I thought we played really well, it was more of a family than a team. I thought we connected all of our passes and took our shots when we needed to take them,” said Cattanach.



Progressing into the rest of the season, the Dragons feel that their bond between players will be one of their biggest strengths. “Most of us have been here since freshman year and I feel like we have really connected over these four years,” said Contreras.

Boys’ soccer will have their next game on Dec. 6 against Rio Mesa at Ventura College.

Editors Note: On Dec. 18, 2019, at 9:07 a.m., Thacher High School was changed to Nordhoff High School.

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