Varsity Boys’ Soccer Falls to Tigers 3-1 in Second Round Playoffs

By Christiano Araujo, Photographer

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On Tuesday, April 3, the varsity boys’ soccer team fought against the Spring Woods Tigers in the second round of playoffs, hoping to take home their first area championship win in nearly four years, unfortunately ending the game with a 3-1 score that favored the Tigers. Even though the outcome of the game brought the teams’ season to an end, the boys’ gave everything they had to stay ahead.

“I thought it was a really good game. The other team was really good too, I thought we played pretty well but we didn’t do so well towards the end. Though, I’m happy that we had a good season,” Philip Richardson ‘20 said. “It was a lot of fun it was nice to get to know all the guys and just feel like a part of a team. It’s just a lot of fun to get to know everybody.”

Numerous passes were made by Nikola Djordjevic ‘21 to Hilton Pineda ‘18 and Felipe Centeno ‘19, before several headers were executed by both Skylar Cupit ‘18 and Pineda, which initially prevented the Tigers from getting the ball early on in the game. While the level of anticipation was already high, the Warriors added to it as Avi Kacker ‘19 successfully blocked an attempted goal by a Tigers player, that stopped any chance the Tigers had of scoring a point. As the first half was coming to a close, the Tigers managed to score a goal with twenty-four minutes left until halftime, giving them a one point advantage over the Warriors. That didn’t stop the Warriors from pushing ahead as Djordjevic and Centeno both made attempts at the goal, before Caden Popps ‘18 scored the first and only goal for the Warriors on a free kick, bringing the score to a tie of 1-1 with 21:00 left in the first half. Before the half was over the Tigers were able to score two more goals, but were unsuccessful the third attempt due to Jack Elliott’s ‘19 successful block of the ball in the last two seconds of the game, ultimately sealing the first half with a 3-1 score with the Warriors still behind by two points against the Tigers.

Going into the second half, the Warriors showed determination of getting ahead towards the Tigers, as numerous defensive strategies were performed by both Popps and Elliott who fought to keep the ball out of Tigers possession. This was followed by a tense moment that played out when Djordjevic came close to scoring the second goal of the night for the Warriors, but was unsuccessful due to a Tigers goalie block. As the game came to an end, the Warriors continued to push through with attempted runs at the goal by Elliott and Pineda, before Oliver Harris ‘18 executed an effective block that gave the ball to the Warriors. While every attempt was made at the goal by both teams, neither one was able to add any points by the end of the second half, ending the game with a final score of 3-1.

The end of the game was filled with emotion for the seniors on the team as this was the last time they will share the field with their fellow Warrior teammates. Each player joined in hugging one another and sharing memorable moments of their past season, while also noting the importance the younger players now play in carrying on the success of those before them.

“I want the underclassman to keep the legacy of Westwood up and keep fighting to keep Westwood on top every time,” Pineda said.