Boys soccer: Team secures 3-2 win against Wilcox HS

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Boys soccer: Team secures 3-2 win against Wilcox HS

Tyler Lin

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Photos by Justin Kim

The sun shone harshly down on the field as the teams began warming up. Following their two game win streak, the Matadors looked to extend that when they faced Wilcox High School on Jan. 13. Perhaps with a bit too much confidence, the Matadors seemed to lack coordination and effort. This led to a weak game all around, despite the fact that the Matadors won 3-2.

The Matadors started the game off with an offensive push led by senior Radwan Hamwi. With back and forth action between the two teams, Hamwi eventually scored a goal. Following the goal, however, the Matadors suffered numerous injuries to add onto lackluster effort.

“The first twenty minutes, it seemed like we were taking it too easy,” senior Anjan Amarnath said. “Not everyone showed up ready to play.”

There was no clear dominance as the ball switched possession multiple times; there seemed to be communication issues from both teams. The bad news didn’t end there as Hamwi, the lead offensive player for the Matadors, was injured by a WHS defender. Hamwi was subbed in by senior Peter Enescu.

After Hamwi’s replacement, WHS bypassed the Matador’s open defenses and proceeded to score a retaliation goal to even up the game at one. Approximately five minutes later, senior Anjan Amarnath scored on WHS, bringing the score up 2-1. At this point in the game, WHS was desperate to score another goal. A decent amount of time later, Wilcox scored a goal, bringing the score back to a tie at 2.

Coach Patrick Lowney, after witnessing the back and forth play, started to look apprehensive — his team was not playing up to their full potential like they have done in their past three games. There were many opportunities for the Matadors to make plays but they failed to capitalize on them. However, the Matadors got the break they needed with Enescu scoring on WHS, swaying the score back to 3-2 for MVHS.

“We need to stay more composed, not let our minds go to waste, stay relaxed,” Enescu said. “And play as a team. Sometimes, a lot of people try to do it on their own and that’s where it deteriorates.”

Not long after, the referee blew his whistle for halftime. The teams recovered, rested and sought to construct new game plans. The team and coach were desperate to make changes in playstyle. Hamwi, after recovering for nearly 25 minutes, was subbed back in. All they had to do was hold strong and not let their defense slip.

Right out of the gate, the two rejuvenated teams clashed against one another — their aggressive plays meeting an equally formidable defense. Things got rough, as senior Eric Crouch stumbled, but was unharmed and continued on strongly for the rest of the game. Junior Nikash Narula managed to secure the ball on the WHS Chargers’ side of the field, first holding off two, then four WHS players at the same time. The ball stayed in the corner for nearly a minute as the the timer kept ticking down, wasting away any opportunities WHS had for a comeback. The whistle shrieked a few minutes later as the referee announced the Matadors’ victory.

The Matadors had won the match, but it wasn’t the win that Lowney was expecting. He was disappointed in his team and their performance today. Even though this was the fourth consecutive win for the team, in Lowney’s eyes, the team was not in good shape.

“We played pretty much as poorly as we could,” Lowney said “Our decision making was off, our touch was off, our chemistry and connectivity were lacking. We were on different pages of different books in different schools. We need to get back to the basics and wash ourselves of this one.”

Co-written by Justin Kim