By Noah Miyamae
Assoc. Sports Editor
The boys’ varsity soccer team fell to Bassett High School on Wednesday, December 9, by a score of 2-1 on the road. The team now has an 0-3 preseason record.
The first half was fairly even between the two sides. South Pas focused on defense at this point in an attempt to keep Bassett from scoring. The Tigers utilized the offside trap throughout the match by pulling the defenders toward the middle line. Junior goalkeeper Kevin Foster had a notable save against a Bassett fast break by charging toward and cutting off the striker’s angle. Senior midfielder Oskar Hernandez and senior striker James Tulin attempted to get South Pas ahead with strong attempts, but the shots went just wide of the post. Junior defender Max Amido aided Foster in the defensive effort with an impressive run to catch up to the Bassett striker and foil an attempted through pass. Additionally, sophomore defender Hank Rainey utilized his speed to keep Bassett off of the scoreboard for the majority of the first half by tracking down the opposition’s strikers. The Tigers took a 1-0 lead toward the end of the half when Hernandez took a corner kick that Tulin headed in toward the crossbar. South Pas gained momentum from this and all players showed more confidence. Foster continued to thwart potential goals with saves from his knees and saves off of deflected second chance shots. However, Bassett tied the game 1-1 at the close of the half with a pass through the defenders and finish toward the far post.
The Tiger’s offense came alive more in the second with runs by Tulin and sophomore striker Jack Renken. The boys came close to taking the lead when Renken passed wide to junior midfielder Declan Chin, who then took a shot that the goalie recovered. As the half progressed, Bassett took a 2-1 lead as a striker maneuvered around the defense with flashy dribbles. The Tigers would have several more attempts in the match, but no one could capitalize. Senior striker Ian Geiberger took a free kick that went right into the center of the box, but the Bassett defense got to the ball before any South Pas player could. The game would end by a score of 2-1, with South Pas falling short.
The team played very well in this match as the Tigers showcased their passing ability much more. Although South Pas ended up losing, the match was very even as either side could have taken the lead throughout the game.
“Today was an improvement from our previous games as we started to get more touches on the ball,” Tulin said, “If we continue to improve, then we will definitely be able to turn our season around.”
The boys will strive for their first win of the season on a pre-league matchup against the Alhambra Moors at Alhambra High School on Friday, December 11.