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Soccer finishes above expectations

Cassidy Jackson, Staff Writer

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The men’s varsity soccer season has come to close as the team lost its second playoff match in the regional final against Leyden. According to senior forward Chris Jin, the first match of the playoffs against Taft foreshadowed the result of their loss in the following matchup even though they defeated Taft 5-2.

“We were expecting a better fight [from Taft] but they didn’t play very good, but to be honest we didn’t play that well either, so I was surprised we won,” Jin said. “I’m a bit worried about next round because I know if we play like that we’re going to lose. I think Leyden’s better [than us] even though they are a lower seed than us.”

In contrast, sophomore forward Grady Bruch disagrees with teammate Jin and feels the team played well in the match against Taft.

“We were better than [Taft],” Bruch said. “They were a good team but we had better team chemistry.”

Two days later, the team walked on their home field and took on Leyden in the regional final and already the boys were feeling the pressure according to Jin.

“Being at the final regional on our turf was a lot of pressure for the team,” Jin said. “The pressure was obvious while we were warming up. We weren’t talking as much as normal.”

Bruch agrees that there was a lot of pressure but feels the boys were confident walking into the Leyden match off of the win against Taft.

“I think we had a lot of confidence [from] that game we played well against Taft and we thought we could carry the momentum into that game,” Bruch said.

Even with the confidence the team walked away with from the Taft game, the boys were unable to maintain the momentum against Leyden according to Bruch.

“We lost 1-0 [against Leyden],” Bruch said. “There were a few questionable calls by the referee. We’re not the most physical team and I’m not used to getting calls fouled on me. A lot of calls weren’t going our way and we were getting frustrated about that.”

Leyden got one goal off of the Titans by utilizing their weaknesses, Jin explained.

“They scored on the ‘no-mark’ heading so our […] defense was a bit off,” Jin said. “Marking is during a free kick the defender must choose 2 men and that didn’t go well. The header that got the goal off of us used our weakness [against headers] which made their strength much bigger.”

During the Leyden match, the boys also began veering away from their usual techniques as well because they failed to push the ball up to the forwards to get a goal according to Bruch.

“We are a little weaker in pushing the ball up from the defense to the forwards,” Bruch said. “We would get the ball and try to get it up to the forwards and start an attack but it wouldn’t open up. [Also], in the middle of the game we would just kick a long ball and hope for the best and that doesn’t work for our team. We need to pass the ball around, find a teammate, and get an open shot. We weren’t playing our game play.”

Bruch said he and the rest of his teammates were highly disappointed about the lost against Leyden.

“I’m obviously not happy about [the loss],” Bruch said. “I thought we could have beat that team. [Leyden] was good but I think we are just as good if not better. I felt we deserved to win but sometimes you just don’t get the result.”

According to senior captain forward Brian Tener, even though the team was defeated he was still happy with the overall result of playoffs because the team lost a lot of valuable seniors and were seen as the underdog.

“Last year we weren’t the underdogs so we were a bit more disappointed with our loss at the regional final because we were expected to go far,” Tener said. “This year we weren’t supposed to go far so we were more satisfied.”

With the close of the season comes a certain, the seniors will have to reconcile not being able to help the team to success next season, according to Tener.

“There is not one specific thing I’m going to miss,” Tener said. “I’ll miss my teammates mostly because a lot of the seniors I’ve played soccer with my whole life.

Jin agrees with Tener and feels that the team made the most of their season.

“Myself and some of the seniors were crying that last game like Coach Ha said it hits you like a bag of bricks,” Jin said.  “At the beginning I felt like I would be happy even if we lost because I was playing but I was wrong [but]I felt happy with the overall playoffs because we weren’t expected to go far at all.”

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The news site of Glenbrook South High School
Soccer finishes above expectations