Sports: Boys’ Soccer Conquers Hillsdale in Defensive Battle
In a low scoring, defensive game against the visiting Hillsdale Knights, the Boys’ soccer team took a late lead, and held on, finishing victoriously 1-0.
“We haven’t lost at home in three years, so we felt pretty confident going into the game” said sophomore Alec Witham. “Regardless, we knew Hillsdale would be a tough opponent, and that it was going to be a close game.”
The match started in favor of Hillsdale. For the beginning of the first half, the Knights kept pressure on the Bears’ defense, keeping the ball on M-A’s defensive half. Goalie Grant Johnson came up with a tough save off a Hillsdale corner kick, keeping the score locked at zeros.
As the Bears started warming up, they developed more of an offensive presence in the game. However, a lack of communication resulted in a few missed opportunities by the Bears. They were unable to capitalize on multiple free kicks and went into halftime with the score tied 0-0.
The second half started off much like the first, with M-A’s defense holding off Hillsdale’s eager offense. As the half progressed, M-A was able to bring the ball deeper into Hillsdale’s defensive half. The Knights kept a steady defensive, though, during the first twenty minutes of the half and refused to allow the Bears to get off any easy shots.
With the game nearing its final minutes, M-A continued to push the ball forward. The Bears’ got yet another opportunity in the seventy fifth minute, but the M-A shot was deflected by a Hillsdale defender. Senior Flint Mitchell capitalized on the error, chipping it in off of the rebound from ten yards away for the first goal of the game.
M-A’s defense remained unrelenting through the last fifteen minutes, depriving the Knights of any comeback opportunity. Their relentless play was rewarded, and narrowly won the game with one goal over the Knights’ zero.
“It was a really tough game because we haven’t had the chance to play Hillsdale in the past few seasons,” said sophomore Efrain Garcia. “We were really unfamiliar with their style of play.”
Despite the unfamiliarity, M-A’s defense-heavy game paid off, yet again. As the season is still young, the Bears are continuing to work out their kinks, hoping to have a good season, followed by a deep postseason run.
Defender Marcos Amaral weighed in on the Bears’ need for improvement, saying “one thing we lack in is our communication, but if we manage our consistency and communication skills, we will have a good season and hopefully a good run in CCS.”
The Bears’ look to continue their winning streak next week against San Mateo.