Boys’ soccer blanks Buena 2-0 in second game of the season

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Claire Hernandez

Gavin Cattanach ’21 challenges his opponent in a defensive battle.

Sam Noah, Reporter

On March 25, the defending California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) champions, Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) boys’ soccer took the field for a crosstown matchup at Buena High School (Buena). 

When asked about how it felt playing as defending champions, goalkeeper and team captain Luke Shadden ’21 said, “it’s exciting to come back out, coming off a great season like [we] had last year, we just want to come back out and bring that same energy.”

Coming off of a 2-1 loss against Rio Mesa High School in the opener and having only two practices under their belt, the Dragons came into the game with little preparation. In spite of this, the Dragons’ defense held steadfast, letting nothing pass them and offensively dominating. 

The first half was a defensive battle with very few attack opportunities for both teams. The first shot finally came from Alex Loza ’22 at the 32 minute mark but it was unsuccessful.

Just a minute later, Buena got their first shot of the game which was foiled by a save from Shadden. 

After 10 minutes without an offensive opportunity, a foul was drawn by the Dragons just outside the 18-yard box. Loza took the shot but it was shut down by the Bulldog’s goalkeeper.

Another save from Shadden led to the Dragons taking it down the field, and a hard shot ricocheted off the crossbar from Diego Ocampo ’22, creating a buzz in the crowd. The rebound went to the Dragons, but the ensuing shot was saved by the Bulldogs.

The final shot of the half was from Ocampo on a corner kick, but it was once again saved, taking the game to half tied 0-0. 

Shadden commented that the Dragons came out in the second half with, “a lot more confidence than our last game and all around the energy was higher and it looked a lot better.”

After an early foul by the Dragons’ defense, only ten minutes into the second half, Shadden saved the shot and kickstarted the Dragon offense. This was followed by a shot from the Dragons that sailed over the goal, but was redeemed shortly after, a pass from Aaron Smith ’22 led to a left-footed goal from Ocampo at the 31 minute mark, finally putting the Dragons on the scoreboard, 1-0.  Just eight minutes later, Ocampo crossed the ball to Loza for another left-footed shot, putting the Dragons up 2-0. 

Late in the game with just 16 minutes left, the two teams exchanged yellow cards after two hard fouls. The freekick awarded to the Dragons resulted in shots from Ocampo and Gavin Cattanach ’21, both of which misfired. 

The defense from the Dragons rendered Buena scoreless, with the game ending in a 2-0 victory for the Dragons. 

Loza was proud of how the Dragons bounced back, saying, “a lot of our players were angry from the game yesterday, so we all laid it out on the field today and it showed a great result.”

Coach Luis Sanchez voiced similar sentiment, stating, “I think the boys were a little banged up from the game last night against Rio Mesa, so I’m happy with the win, but we still got a lot of work to do.”

Loza is looking forward to the year, saying, “we definitely have higher expectations, especially for the new people coming in, it’s a new team and we lost a lot of seniors last year so it’s gonna take some time for everyone to adjust, but I think it’s going to be a good season.” 

 

The team looks to continue successful gameplay going into league play, hoping to repeat last season’s achievements. Their first league game is a rivalry matchup at Saint Bonaventure on Monday, April 12.

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