Photos by Helena Fu
The Duarte Falcons stood no chance against the varsity girls’ soccer team, giving South Pas an 11-0 victory at an away game on Thursday, November 30. Invigorated by a sound triumph on Tuesday, the Tigers brought an unmatchable intensity from the get-go that yielded goal upon goal early in the first half. This opening energy thrusted the team forward for the remainder of the match. The Tigers come out of their first two games unscathed, with no goals scored against them and a season record at 2-0.
The beginning of the first half mirrored the Tigers’ performance against Mark Keppel on Tuesday; immediately, the ball was brought far into Falcon territory and virtually did not leave the prime striking zone thanks to efforts by junior defenders Jade Myer and Alyssa Bonk. Soon after, senior midfielder Emily Dunn captured the first goal off junior midfielder Rainey Tilley’s assist. Tilley then was able to immediately drive the ball back to the Falcon goal box and score and second point. By this point, it was evident that South Pas would have no struggle defeating its opponent, and head coach Victoria Lathrop felt comfortable rotating in different players.
With fresh feet on the field, all of the subs maintained the Tigers’ high standards of expertise. Sophomore forward Lila Dworsky-Hickey quickly secured the third goal for South Pas off an assist from senior forward Isabel Bluml. Senior forward Celeste Amaya seized the fourth with a textbook kick that arced beautifully past the Duarte goalie’s hands. As a true testament to the versatility that exists on the team, sophomore midfielder Corey Segal dribbled and manipulated the ball all the way from the 50 yard-line to the goalie box and snatched the fifth goal. Dworsky-Hickey swooped in yet again and clenched the sixth, and Bluml pulled off a back-to-back striking saga taking the seventh and eighth goals subsequently. All the while, the Duarte defense simply failed to keep up with the Tigers methodical communication and passing sequences.
“We finished many shots in front of the net, which was something we struggled with last game, so it was good to come out and finish opportunities. But, even more importantly, we connected all over the field and had a lot of fun!” Tilley stated. “Moving on to next week, it’s important that we are able to settle down under pressure and be in control of the ball. After two wins, we’re feeling pretty confident, we’re excited, and we are going to try to score a lot more goals and keep our completely clean sheet.”
Diving into the second half, head coach Lathrop went in with a mindset to exercise the breadth of the South Pas team while keeping good sportsmanship the utmost priority. Roles were reversed, as defenders and forwards switched places. Other Tigers such as sophomores Quyen Ballagh and Elizabeth Haidar exhibited their speed and resolve, acting as pivotal players in maintaining Tiger possession. Even with a flip-flopped formation, South Pas still was able to make plenty of shots on goal. Tilley clutched the ninth goal with a cross from senior forward Harper Fox; junior defender Emma Barrera juked Duarte opponents from the midfield to the box and nabbed the tenth goal. The match came to a fitting close as senior co-captain and defender-turned-forward Riley Segal pursued and accomplished the eleventh and final goal that bounced out from the Falcon keeper’s hands.
“Communication was key tonight– the girls were supportive of each other on and off the field. That was a huge part of [our win]. They also kept their composure; when your opponent is not necessarily up to your same level of skill, it’s easy to get lazy or to back off.” head coach Lathrop commented. “ The game plan tomorrow is the same thing— our objective in the first half is to score early and to score often, that way we give ourselves a little bit of a cushion. I’m curious; we didn’t score against Alhambra last year, but on the track we are on now, with 16 goals in two games, we should technically be able to put a handful in tomorrow.”
The Tigers’ next match is against Alhambra at an away game on Friday, December 1. This game will determine whether or not South Pas can close out the week undefeated to prepare for the threatening contender that is La Salle next Tuesday.