Boys soccer sweeps Cobalt Cougars in first round CIF playoff, continue to be victorious

Boys+Soccer+team+gathers+with+Coach+Rick+Villano+before+the+game.

Julio Hernandez

Boys Soccer team gathers with Coach Rick Villano before the game.

Claire Hernandez, Reporter

As league play comes to a close, the time dawns for California Interscholastic Federation (CIF): a brutal and intense way for teams to get knocked out of playing in their high school season. For the Foothill Dragons boys soccer team, the ending has not come yet. The Dragons dominated in their game against the Cobalt Cougars with a 3-1 win on Feb. 12.

The game starts with a kickoff from Foothill. The Cougars quickly countered to deliver shots against the Dragons, deterred by saves from Luke Shadden ‘21. After many corner kicks and shot attempts from the Dragons, the Cougars finally gained possession and put the Dragons on edge. Tough defense from Gavin Cattanach ‘21 resulted in a free shot for the Cougars outside the 18 yard box, but Shadden knocked it out, drawing a roar from the crowd.

 

 

With an impressive sequence from the Dragons, Michael Hernandez ‘22 delivered a cross over the backline of the Cougar defense and earned another corner for the Dragons while their opponents had the final touch on the ball as it rolled out of bounds. Diego Ocompo ‘22 laid the ball in front of the goal for Alex Loza ‘22 to capitalize with a shot in the back of the net, putting a goal for the Dragons on the scoreboard with 20 minutes left in the half.

Claire Hernandez
Recap of the Dragons’ CIF career.

Both teams went at it with fouls, racking up many free kicks and challenges for both goalkeepers. Coach Luis Sanchez said “I think they challenged us physically, they were very aggressive on the ball as well so we had to match their intensity. I think the boys did a good job, we didn’t have any yellow cards so that was really good.”

The half ended with a scramble in the backline of the Foothill defense. Shadden slid to block the Cougar shot, but they regained possession and slipped it in behind Shadden to tie up the game 1-1.

Sanchez commented on the success and motivation that CIF brought, saying “I think they were excited to be here, I was happy for them to get challenged we were up 1-0 and the and then they caught up, and then in the second half they came out to really win so that’s how we were able to win 3-1.” 

The half started with tough offense from the Cougars, eager to push the score in their favor, but the Dragons quickly responded. Kyeler Brant ‘20 took a shot just to barely miss, hitting the crossbar. 

With 19:22 minutes left in the second half, chaos erupted in the Cougars’ 18 yard box and Loza got a foot on the ball to get the lead back for the Dragons. This heated up the Cougars and led to more fouls, but Foothill did not let down. The energy intensified with eight minutes to spare.

 

 

With a brutal foul against Jacob Girardot ‘20, the Dragons were left feeling vengeful. Girardot took the ball on his own to score with two minutes remaining, ending the game 3-1.

 

 

Girardot commented saying, “I think it’ll give us motivation for the next games. It gives us some boost of confidence,” and it definitely did give them that boost they needed. The Dragons boys’ soccer team will play in the division seven CIF final on Feb. 28 against Oakwood High School at the Ventura College Stadium.

What do you think?