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The Foothill Dragon Press

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The Foothill Dragon Press

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Boys’ soccer bests Polytechnic 2-1 to advance to the CIF semi finals

Audrey Yoong
Merric Bayless ‘24 (number 9) puts pressure on Polytechnic’s defense as he runs the ball up the field. Bayless looks for an open teammate to pass the ball to with the hope of keeping the pressure on the Panthers.
Matheus Gamble ‘24 (number 10) skillfully maneuvers through the Polytechnic defenders on an offensive run. He scored the first of the Dragons’ goals and had multiple great offensive pushes. The Panthers struggled to keep up with the speed of the Dragons, allowing them many opportunities to score. (Lauren Kaller)

The Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) boys’ soccer team took to the pitch on Feb. 13, 2024, against Polytechnic High School (Polytechnic). The match took place at the Ventura College Sportsplex which gave Foothill Tech the home pitch advantage. The Dragons won 2-1 which advanced the team to the CIF semi-finals.

The match began with intensity, both teams fighting for position over the ball. The first attempt on Foothill Tech’s goal was a mere six minutes into the first half as Foothill Tech’s goalkeeper Adam Al Warhani ‘24 made a defensive save and kept the score at 0-0.

Foothill Tech continued to put offensive pressure on Polytechnic and shortly after Al Warhani’s save, found the back of the net, however it was ruled offside and didn’t count for the Dragons. This did not deter the Dragons aggression though, and 26 minutes in, Matheus Gamble ‘24 dribbled swiftly past every defender and scored for the Dragons.

After the match, Gamble said, “It is our senior year so it matters the most, with everyone being the oldest and to be leaders. It matters a lot.”

Ricky Salinas ‘24 (number 30) runs to the ball and tries to steal it back for Foothill Tech. Throughout the game, Salinas attempted to make several goals and steals. He played well both offensively and defensively. (Audrey Yoong)

Foothill Tech’s defense continued to play well with a great save from Al Warhani 29 minutes into the match. However, a few minutes later into the match, Al Warhani was given a red card for using his hands outside of the goalies box. Al Warhani was unable to play, and the Dragons had to play 10 to 11 for the remainder of the match.

Coach David Arroyo said, “I think it was stressful at the beginning, we scored a goal but it was called offsides. I think that helped the momentum start going … Everyone played great … Emotions are pretty high right now.”

The first half ended with Foothill Tech up 1-0, but despite this disadvantage, Foothill Tech’s Nico Flores ‘24 made a great goal to allow the Dragons a 2-0 lead.

The Dragon’s back up goalie Julian Lopez ‘25 made a huge save 9 minutes into the second half which kept the Dragons up 2-0. However, Polytechnic put the pressure on and found the net, which gave the Dragons a nail biting 2-1 lead over Polytechnic.

Polytechnic puts pressure on Foothill Tech’s defense while making an offensive play. The Dragons desperately try to regain control of the ball and put the pressure back on their opponent. Diego Flores Orozco ‘24 (number 8), Nico Flores ‘24 (number 15) and Pedro Medrano ‘24 (number 14) displayed good defense. (Audrey Yoong)

Lopez spoke on the match as he stated, “It was stressful at the beginning and even more stressful at the end. I just wanna say thanks to my coach and to my team for having enough faith in me.”

Foothill Tech’s defense and offense continued to play their best, and after a huge defensive stop with 3 minutes left, the Dragons closed out of the match with a 2-1 victory over Polytechnic.

Flores spoke on what the match meant to him, “We have been wanting to win, each year we got closer and closer, this is the year to win it.”

Coach Sanchez shared his thoughts, “I am very proud of my boys, they came out and did what they needed to do. We were even short a player and they showed true character and spirit and that is what it is all about.”

The Dragons semifinal CIF match will be at Ventura High School’s (Ventura) Larrabee Stadium on Feb. 16, 2024, against Esperanza High School (Esperanza).

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About the Contributors
Chance Leandro
Chance Leandro, Reporter
Aka Gumpkin. Second-year sports writer who is chronically late.
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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