Story by: Sonya Shimpock
Photo by: Shin-Hye (Rachel) Choi
The boys’ soccer team tied the Temple City Rams on Friday, Jan. 26 on Senior Night, with a final score of 2-2. The Tigers played a strong game and kept up an incredibly active offense throughout the entirety of the match.
The Tigers took the kickoff, immediately beginning to push up the field. The Rams intercepted and corralled the defensive effort, dribbling the ball back into the midfield. Sophomore midfielder Aidan Muñoz quickly stole the ball, then passed it back to junior defender Leo Fiss. The Ram’s continued offensive pressure on Fiss resulted in a corner kick for Temple City, but junior goalkeeper Austin Hwang intercepted the ball before the Rams scored. The Tigers took the opportunity to move the play back up the field, where senior forward Joe Hwang and senior defender Mikey Hirano passed the ball back and forth in an attempt to score. The Tiger’s efforts were rewarded after sophomore midfielder Leo Sanchez took a free kick that put the ball in the box, and J. Hwang finished the play with a well-placed shot in the corner of the net, scoring the first goal of the game.
Tiger offense only strengthened after the goal. For the majority of the following ten minutes, the Rams were relegated to defense. However, after a corner kickended with a scattered play down the field, Temple City was able to break away on a counterattack and score.
The Tigers redoubled both their offensive and defensive effort, and began to make more aggressive runs at the goal. After several failed plays, and the first half beginning to draw to a close, Sanchez once again took a kick that put the ball directly in the box. Sophomore midfielder Sam Rodak scored after a brief scuffle, bringing the Tigers back ahead 2-1. The rest of the first half drew to an evenly-matched close.
Temple City’s defense changed their orientation for the second half, and Tiger offense had a hard time navigating the change. The Rams took advantage of this, and were able to secure another goal that tied up the score 2-2.
The clock dwindled quickly after that, and senior night eventually drew to a close in a tie.
“I thought it was a tough game… yeah, they’re a really tough team. It was a very competitive match– we tried to force them to play short. First half, I thought we did that. They can really tighten up but we played well.” Said Brian Williams, the assistant coach of the boys’ soccer team.
The celebrations begun once the game had concluded, with a ceremony that was voiced from the bleachers as JV took the field. Upholding team tradition, the juniors also gave short speeches to thank the seniors for all the time and effort they had dedicated to the team over their high school career.
The Tiger seniors include Takeda-Teer, defender Victor Zarazua, Hirano, J. Hwang, and forward Sawyer Fox.