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Boys’ soccer forces Grace Brethren into forfeit on Senior Night

Lauren Kaller
On Feb. 2, 2024, Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) faced Grace Brethren High School (Grace Brethren) in a highly anticipated game celebrating the nine seniors on the team. Winning with a forfeit in the last 15 minutes from Grace Brethren, the Dragons scored 11 goals. Matheus Gamble ’24 (number 10), the leading scorer of the game, had four goals. Merric Bayless ’24 (number 9) scored three goals. Ricky Salinas ‘24 (number 30), Adam Al Warhani ’24 (number 1), Nico Flores ’24 (number 15) and Amar Atiah ’26 (number 20) each scored one goal.
Fiona Aulenta

The Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) boys’ soccer team faced off against Grace Brethren High School (Grace Brethren) in an annual Senior Night match-up on Feb. 3, 2024. Foothill Tech went on to score 11 goals, causing Grace Brethren to forfeit the match with 15 minutes left and leaving the Dragons victorious at 11-0.

Before the match began, Foothill Tech had their annual Senior Night ceremony where the team came together to honor their seniors. Parents delivered bittersweet speeches and the team celebrated their departing players for the time spent playing as a Dragon and their contributions to the program.

Matheus Gamble ‘24 stated that soccer is, “Family. Everyone is getting along and it is fun playing with my brothers.”

Nathan Leedy shared similar thoughts, stating, “Exactly that, family. The bus rides back and just that sense of community we have with the boys, we are a part of one big group, it is amazing.”

The Dragons began the match with aggressive offensive plays, a mere five minutes into the match Merric Bayless ‘24 scored, however it was rescinded after an offsides call. The Dragons rebounded quickly with a goal from Bayless followed by a goal from Nico Flores ‘24.

Bayless spoke on the season, saying, “It’s been a great team to be on … it’s fun to have kids in your class then go play on the same team with them on the field.”

Foothill Tech continued to keep the pressure on Grace Brethren with another goal from Bayless 20 minutes into the first half which gave the Dragons a 3-0 lead. Not letting up, Gamble maneuvered through Grace Brethren’s defense and set up Bayless with a great assist for another Foothill Tech goal.

After passing up and down the field, the Dragons closed out the half as Asher Bayles ‘26 gave an assist to Amar Atiah ‘26, giving the Dragons a 5-0 when going into the second half.

The Dragons came into the second half quickly as Gamble scored within the first 30 seconds. Ricky Salinas ‘24 kept the team’s streak going as he put another point onto the scoreboard minutes later.

Gamble then went on to score three times in five minutes to put the Dragons in the lead 10-0.

Foothill Tech then switched their point of attack as they put their goalie Adam Alwarhani ‘24 into the forward striker position. Within minutes of entering into the position Alwarhani scored for the Dragons giving them the lead 11-0 with 15 minutes remaining. Grace Brethren went on to forfeit the match after this goal.

When asked what the team meant to him Salinas said, “The team is like another family, I have been playing with these guys since freshman year so the team in general just means a lot.”

Nico Flores ’24 spoke on the match saying, “It was our senior night so we tried to make the best of it even though they forfeited … it was like playing with cones.”

Spectator Jason Noufal ‘25 mentioned, “The atmosphere was great, we had a great crowd up in the stands for the senior night. It was a very fun game.”

The Dragons next match will be on Feb. 5, where they will take on their first round of CIF preliminaries.

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About the Contributors
Chance Leandro
Chance Leandro, Reporter
Aka Gumpkin. Second-year sports writer who is chronically late.
Lauren Kaller
Lauren Kaller, Photographer
6'4" baller. 

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