CRUMP SOARS TO GROUND SONORA'S AERIAL ATTACK
WARRIORS ADVANCE TO QUARTERFINALS WITH WIN OVER RAIDERS
The Warriors entered the 2nd round CIF game winning against many different styles of play during the course of the season, but they had not faced an air attack like the one Sonora brought with them. While the Raiders were completely ineffective with the ball at their feet, they were potentially dangerous with multiple freekicks and throw-ins to the box. I say potentially because none of the restarts actually became dangerous as Turner Crump commanded the air space in front of the West goal along with Issac Levinson and Carson Bandel. Turner snagged numerous balls high above the heads of the Sonora players while Isaac and Carson headed away any balls that did not reach the senior goalie's air space. Having their backs to clear any balls that dropped below head height were Tyler Decelles, Kevin Han, and Kyle Smith.
Kyle stepped in for injured starter, Garrett Ritchey, one of three starters that were unavailable for Satruday's game, and commanded the space in front of the backline. While the defense stymied the Sonora attack into minimal and ineffective opportunites, West's offense would not be denied. Twenty-three minutes into the game, Anthony Erhahon went at the Raider's defense and drew a foul just outside of the penalty box, four yards wide of the goal. A wicked shot by Steven Alvarenga beat the ineffective wall that gave the visiting goalkeeper no chance. 1-0 West.
In the second half, the game remained tight until the twenty-seventh minute. Kanta Izutsu hustled to pressure a Sonora defender whose touch failed him. Kanta was able to step inside of the player and win the ball while being fouled. This time it was Zack Mercieca who stepped up for the freekick. With Garrett Eguchi running interference between Zack and the opponent's back line, Zack's shot was on the Sonora defender before he could even see it. With a late reaction, his attempt to clear the ball went into the goal instead to give West a 2-0 lead.
It looked like West would coast to a 2-0 win until a penalty kick was called in favor of Sonora. The visiting team converted on the kick which made for a nerve-wracking final seven minutes of the game. The Raiders tried to take advantage of one more corner-kick, throw-in, and freekick but to no avail. Even when they had Turner scrambling in the box, chasing the ball that was close enough for him to challenge and not retreat to the goal, his teammates had his back. Isaac, Tyler, and Carson covered the goal for him while Anthony and Josh Ciko pursued the ball and shutdown any opportunities Sonora would have had without their hustle while Turner recovered to the goal. Once again, it was a team effort that had West on top at the end of the game. Next up, at Montebello in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
WEST OPENS CIF PLAYOFFS AGAINST HUENEME
WARRIORS HOSTING CITRUS COAST RUNNERS-UP
After a strong showing in league, West is now ready to start the second season. The Warriors drew the Vikings from Oxnard in the first round. Having finished the season with only one loss in their last 7 games, the invaders from the north will no be an easy opponent to defeat. The boys in brown, however, are ready. They do not want their season to end quite yet and will do all that they can to extend it. Here's to a great game on Thursday, May 13th at 3pm!
WARRIORS CLIP THE EAGLES
WEST CLINCHES PLAYOFF SPOT WITH WIN ON OPPONENT'S HOME FIELD
It may have not been their best game, but the Warriors were up to the task of winning at El Segundo to clinch a playoff spot with two games to go in league. West struck first in the 17th minute with Garrett Ritchey and Steven Alvarenga alertly being on the same page. A quick pass and Steven found himself isolated at the top of the box and 12 yards wide of the goal. A quick touch before the defender could get set and the lefty beat him towards the endline. A driven cross to an alert Anthony Erhahon who was crashing the back post and the Warriors held a 1-0 lead.
Unfortunately for West, they could not hold the lead. In the 24th minute, their defense stopped the original foray into their defensive third but the midfield landed up on the wrong side of the ball. Even with their hustle back, the shape of the defense was compromised and the Eagles found the seam in the defense to tie the score up.
West rebounded quickly when Carson Bandel stepped up strongly to win a stray pass by an opponent and put the ball behind El Segundo's defense. An ever alert Alvarenga started to break into the space even before the ball was served. His first two deft touches setup another right footed goal for the versatile junior.
In the second half the Warrior's defense was put to the test with their offense struggling to get established for any significant amount of time. As the Eagles focused their attack down their right flank, Kevin Han and Josh Ciko were put to the test. The young tandem held their own until Kevin moved to centerback where he continued his stellar play. Steven stepped into Kevin's spot and continued to shutdown El Segundo's number one threat as well. Meanwhile Garrett, Tyler Decelles, Kyle Smith, and Noa Wada gave all that they had to deny the attackers coming at them in the midfield which lessened the load the back line had to face. Even so, Carson and Isaac Levinson had plenty to do with the attacks that did reach them while also helping where help was needed. On the right side of the field, Dylan Ray was not as busy but he still vigilantly denied all the attacks that came his way. Even with the efforts that the field players put in, goalkeeper, Turner Crump needed to make 7 saves and snared several balls played across the face of the goal to preserve the win.
In the end, it was a team effort that shutout El Segundo in the second half of and earned the Warriors the 2-1 win. It was a struggle but West showed they had the grit to grind out the win and earn a playoff spot once again.
WEST PUTS ON A THRILLER OF A SHOW ON SENIOR NIGHT
TWO GOALS IN LAST THE FIVE MINUTES OF REGULATION DENIES SOUTH THE WIN
In a year when not very many people have have the chance to celebrate and experience true exhilaration, the guys on the West High soccer team were able to do both on Senior Night. The team first celebrated the seniors on the squad. It is a small class but a phenomenal one.
Turner Crump is an incredible teammate and a great leader; one that the players like to have at their back, figuratively and literally. He leads by example. He is always willing to do the job with his teammates. It's part of why they respect him so much. It's also part of why we have shown we can compete with anybody. No one player is more important than anyone else on the team. No goals yet this season but does have an assist on Aeonnís goal against Torrance.
Tyler Decelles is a strong minded player and an incredible teammate as well. He doesnít cower from the feedback the coaches give him. He takes the essence of it all and just gets better. He continues to improve as the season progresses. We will remember his thunderbolt left-footed goal against North for a long time.
Kanta Izutsu is our most technically sound player. He's also our most quietest and nicest, by far. Sometimes it hinders us as we donít know he is wide open. Against Torrance, however, Aeonn knew where he was. The freshman found his senior counterpart on a slotted cross. Kanta collected it and calmly knocked it by the keeper. Cool and composed. That's Kanta.
Brendan Bailing rejoined our program after two years of being a Panther at Peninsula High. After returning to West, he wanted to play with us once again and came onboard just a couple of weeks before the season started. Now just a little over a month later, he is contributing when and where he can.
Chris Peri rejoined the program after a year's hiatus. He would have been a standout player for us but suffered a knee injury in the fourth game of the year that knocked him out for the season. We may not get to benefit from his talents this season, but someone will next year. Chris has aspirations of playing in college.
After recognizing and celebrating the seniors, West and their intracity rival, South, kicked off. The game was still goalless when Zack Mercieca had to come out of the game with an injury in the 25th minute of the game. He, unfortunately, would not be able to return. Without his pace and ability up top, the Warriors had to adjust, but it was the Spartans that struck first. They scored in the 26th and then doubled their lead 16 minutes into the second half.
The score remained 2-0 in favor of the Spartans but the Warriors were starting to get more attacking opportunities. On one of those attacks, a South player ran through the legs of Steven as he was taking the ball quickly into the attack. The hard foul earned the player a red card. West may have waited for dramatic effect, but they did not waste the advantage. In injury time, a one touch pass on a bouncing ball from Turner out to Garrett Ritchey who was positioning himself out wide started it all. From there, Garrett found Anthony Erhahon making a run along the back line of South. The junior midfielder found him in a seam in the defense on the corner of the box. With a great turn and a left-footed slanted pass back to an attacking Kanta Izutsu and West was on the board.
Then just two minutes later Isaac Levinson found Steven inside of his defender on South's backline and put him through with a flicked ball. The crafty attacker drew the goalie in and then touched it by him. Before he could get his next touch in, the keeper had swept his legs out from under him. Penalty kick for West. Garrett stepped up and buried the ball into the back of the net to tie the game up at 2-2.
While West continued to create scoring opportunities, the game-winner wasn't meant to be. In the end, a tie was disappointing but exhilarating in the way it was earned. Overall it wasn't a bad night, celebrating our seniors and coming back from a 2-0 deficit with only minutes left in the game.
TEAM WARRIORS SOLID IN WIN OVER NORTH
ALVARENGA NETS A HAT TRICK AND DECELLES' BLAST HIGHLIGHT WEST'S ATTACK
Entering the final game of the first half of league play, West knew they were going to be facing a strong opponent. Only their best effort would earn them a win. So they brought it. In full force. Even though the visting Saxons scored first, the Warriors rebounded to score the next 5 goals in the game to come away with the 5-2 win.
The game started off quickly with both teams playing well. However in the 5th minute of the game, North took advantage of a lapse in defensive positioning and focus by West. A strong surge down the middle of the field without anyone stepping in front of it and slowing it down resulted in North breaking into the box and behind the defensive line. A near post finish and West was down 1-0.
However, West did not bend or even flinch. They came with an even better game then how they started. In the 14th minute, it paid off. Zack Mercieca collected a weak clearance by North and created some magic down the right sideline. He easily beat the first defender and then took a couple of hesitation moves before beating the next defender to the end line. From there he slotted a perfect cross slicing through 5 defenders and finding Anthony Erhahon who had snuck inside of the defender covering him. Reaching with those long legs of his he reached behind him and got a shot off which the defender could only deflect weakly out wide where a pefectly postioned Steven Alvarenga was waiting. The junior leftback had been adjusting his positioning as Zack had attacked the endline and it paid off. A one-touch finish and the game was tied.
Both teams continued to battle fiercely throughout the first half but the score remained 1-1. Then in the 39th minute, Dane Paulson attacked a corner kick that Garrett Eguchi perfectly placed into the near-post space. Dane got a solid strike on the ball but under it by the slightest of margins and it clanged off the crossbar. No matter. North did not know it yet, but the second half would be West's.
It's not the easiest playing into the wind at West and it looked like it was going to be a struggle for the Warriors as the second half started. The Saxons had the majority of the possession early on but the West team defense was up to the task. The anticipation of Kevin Han stymied North's attack over and over again. The constant covering of each other's backs limited the vistors to minimal opportunties. Even when Steven had to come out of the game stakeboarder extraodinaire, Isaac Levinson stepped in and the defense did not miss a beat.
Meanwhile as the second half progressed, the Warrior's attack started to find its footing. In the 57th minute of the game, it paid off. Off a throw-in, ten yards from the endline down the right side, an active Tyler Decelles supported the throw-in and then moved into position to win any ball cleared out. When the ball baby bounced out his way, he was ready. He unleashed a thunderbolt with his left foot and seared it into the upper right hand corner of the goal. The keeer never had a chance. West 2 North 1.
Then just two minutes later, after North almost caught the West defense sleeping, the lead was doubled. A quickly taken freekick while Turner Crump was setting a wall, nearly snuck in. Fortunately for the Warriors, the senior keeper was alert and parried the ball away. Enough pressure was put on the ball that the ensuing shot harmlessly hit the post and ricocheted away. The clearance found it's way to a hard working Zack who won the ball from a harrassing defender and carried the ball into the heart of the North defense. He carried the ball against the 4 defenders for 50 yards and gave his teammates time to flip from defense to offense in a heartbeat. A weak clear and a lagging North defense gave West a 5 on 4 advantage as Garrett Ritchey , Dylan Ray, Anthony, and Dane all raced to support their teammate. It paid off. Dylan collected the weak clear, beat the defender who stepped up to challenge him and slotted the ball to Anthony who was crashing the goal. Another one-touch shot and it was his goal this time. West 3 North 1.
In the 72 minute of the game, Steven and Zack sealed the win. On a throw-in, the sophomore attacker turned his defender perfectly and disregarded the foul made on him. Another run to the end line and a cutback cross found Steven who had made his way to the end line as well before sneaking back out to nearly the penalty spot. A one-touch right(?!?) footed shot and the junior lefty had his second goal of the game. West 4 North 1.
To finish off the scoring for West, it was Steven again. Anthony found his debate partner out wide and the lefty did the rest. Attacking the penalty box, he drew the foul and earned the PK. Whistle. Shot. Goal. Hat trick. He was ready to go today and North and the corner flag took the brunt of it. West 5 North 1.
North got one back in near injury time but the game was already won. It was a great game for West against a very good team. Now it's on to playing South in the Senior Night game, the second half of league play, and the rematch against North in the final league game. You know the Saxons will want payback then, but it's West in the first match of league play. West 5 North 2.
WARRIOR'S OFFENSE IGNITES
WEST SCORE FIVE ON TORRANCE IN 5-1 WIN
In a game were the teams battled to a 1-1 tie in the first half, West turned it into a blowout in the final 40 minutes of the game. The game started off quickly with both teams playing well. However in the 5th minute of the game, North took advantage of a lapse in defensive positioning and focus by West. A strong surge down the middle of the field without anyone stepping in front of it and slowing it down resulted in North breaking into the box and behind the defensive line. A near post finish and West was down 1-0.
WEST SEASON READY TO BEGIN
AFTER A FOUR MONTH DELAY, WARRIORS AND HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER TO KICKOFF AGAIN
It's been a long time coming, but our season is finally here! The JVs and Frosh-Soph kickoff their season this Saturday against Loyola while the Varsity will open their season on Tuesday against Palos Verdes. To see the schedule of games, CLICK HERE or click 'Schedules' to the left.
Instructions for players and fans on game day will be posted here and emailed to all of our families before Saturday's games. Keep an eye out for them so we follow the protocol that has been given to us. Thanks!