Story by Noah Kuhn
Associate News Editor
Photos by Sean Jin
South Pasadena defeated Schurr, 5-2, in a preseason clash on Thursday, Dec. 12.
Schurr began aggressively with high pressure and cohesive passes. However, senior Andrea Castellanos racked up a hat trick by the 49th minute and the established a 3-0 lead in the second half. In the final fifteen minutes, the floodgates opened, as both teams scored twice, and the Tigers walked away with the victory.
The Tigers hit the pitch timidly and slightly sluggish, clumping in the middle and taking a while to adjust to the Spartan’s aggressive and fast play. South Pas consistently allowed Schurr players to send long balls down the wings and cut inside. However, junior keeper Andrea Zarazua kept a clean sheet in the first half, making multiple diving saves.
Senior striker Corey Segal threatened the opposition, skittering into the Spartans’ final third, but all her shots and crosses were blocked.
In the 22nd minute, Castellanos drove a powerful 20-yard shot to the top right corner, which bounced off the goalie’s hands into the net. She missed two shots wide before hitting the mark again on a free kick from 30 yards out.
Defensively, freshman Daniella Lat used her physicality to muscle off Spartan strikers and clear long balls. She proved to be the Tigers’ anchor in the back line and single-handedly helped them avoid conceding.
South Pas ended the first half with a 2-0 lead and came back from the break stronger. Castellanos bent her third goal between the keeper and the crossbar nine minutes in. Senior forward Hannah Thompson extended the lead to four with her impressive chipped goal from a tight angle after Segal passed her the ball.
Schurr took back control of the game for much of the final ten minutes, scoring twice on fast breakaways. But, South Pas responded with three minutes to go. Castellanos linked up with senior Chloe Kim, who picked out senior midfielder Jessica Lat for the final score of the match.
Even following a dominant 5-2 win, the Tigers are still looking to improve their game.
“The front line was working really well, especially the seniors: Andrea, Corey, Chloe, and Jessica,” Zarazua said. “But I feel like we need to work better on connecting the passes from the back to the front. Right now it’s very difficult for us to make the play through the middle because we always get lost through the passes.
The Tigers play next at California High School in a tournament on Saturday, Dec. 14.