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The Foothill Dragon Press

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Boys’ soccer bests Laguna Beach 3-1 in second round of CIF

Audrey Yoong
On Feb. 9, 2024, the Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) boys’ soccer team played against Laguna Beach High School (Laguna Beach) in the second round of California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Southern Section. The Dragons won with a score of 3-1 with goals from Ricky Salinas ‘24 (number 30), Merric Bayless ‘24 (number 9) and Nico Flores ‘24 (number 15).
Asher Bayless ‘26 (number 2) pushes the ball up the field in an offensive play and attempts to make a goal. The team was able to come through and take the win, securing their place in the next round of CIF. (Audrey Yoong)

As the sun set on the Ventura College Sportsplex, the Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) boys’ soccer team faced off against Laguna Beach High School (Laguna Beach) in their second round of CIF on Feb. 9, 2024. Foothill Tech emerged victorious over Laguna Beach 3-1 in a very competitive and physical match.

When asked about the match, Merric Bayless ‘24 said, “It was a great performance, we saw them warming up and they were a big team … it’s hard to go down a goal and to come back and score three goals. I thought the team played really well.”

As the game began, Laguna Beach wasted no time. Just two minutes into the game, they maneuvered through the Dragon’s defense to score an easy goal, putting them in the lead 1-0. Foothill Tech quickly recovered and responded with a close miss by Asher Bayless ‘26 not long after.

After outrunning the Breaker’s defense, Matheus Gamble ’24 (number 10) sent a strong pass to Merric Bayless ’24 (number 9) for an easy goal. With this, the tide of the game changed, leading the Dragons the eventually score a third goal, securing their win and spot in the quarter-finals. The team celebrates together, jumping up and down with smiles on their faces. (Lauren Kaller)

Foothill Tech’s goalkeeper Adam Alwarhani ‘24 kept Laguna Beach at bay with save after save. The Dragon’s defense continued to hold strong with huge offensive efforts from Laguna Beach. As tensions increased, both teams played a physical game, with penalties and cards called on both sides.

With the palpable energy of the crowd, Foothill Tech continued to play hard and in the closing minutes of the first half, Ricky Salinas ‘24 took a long shot from well outside the penalty box and found the back of the net, tying the match 1-1.

Salinas stated, “It was an intense game all around, it was intense from both sides. Everyone was getting heated but in the end we came out on top and honestly it was a great game.”

Foothill Tech came into the second half aggressively, when just seven minutes in, Bayless scored off of a cross field assist from Matheus Gamble ‘24, putting the Dragons in the lead 2-1.

Coach Sanchez spoke on behalf of the three coaches saying, “We are just very proud of them, very proud of them. They composed themselves, they played a good game and here we go, we are going again on Tuesday.”

Fiona Aulenta

Halfway into the second half, Gamble took a shot at the goal that was stopped by Laguna Beach’s goalie. However, Foothill Tech bounced back with a goal from Nico Flores ‘24 that put them in the lead 3-1.

Flores spoke on the match saying, “It was tiring, it was intense, but it was good. We played our hearts out cause it means the world to us to win the CIF this year.”

Similarly, Diego Flores Orozco ’24 said, “We knew how big the game was coming into it, obviously we went down 1-0, it was tough but we knew that we were gonna come back. We kept our heads and we played cool and as a team and we saw the result of that.”

The match came to an end, and the Dragons came out on top with a 3-1 victory. Foothill Tech will face off against Polytechnic High School on Feb. 13, 2024, at the Ventura College Sportsplex in the CIF quarter finals.

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About the Contributors
Chance Leandro
Chance Leandro, Reporter
Aka Gumpkin. Second-year sports writer who is chronically late.
Fiona Aulenta
Fiona Aulenta, Videographer
“I make bad decisions frequently. They're fun.” - SZA
Audrey Yoong
Audrey Yoong, Photographer
I'm a first-year photographer who loves reading, golfing and trying new restaurants.
Lauren Kaller
Lauren Kaller, Photographer
6'4" baller. 

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    Kieran BuxtonFeb 12, 2024 at 1:16 pm