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.
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!