JV Orange Boys’ Soccer Gets a Clutch Win Against Leander 1-0

By Vikram Joshi, Sports Editor

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As the sun slipped away on Friday, March 8, the JV Orange boys’ soccer team refused to accept a draw. When the 70 minute game came to a close, they finished strong against Leander to win 1-0.

In the first half, Leander came out strong and controlled the possession. However, though Leander had the ball, the Warriors’ defense limited shots on goal and goalkeeper Emilio Penny ‘20 had multiple saves. During this time, the offense kept Leander on their heels with quick counterattacks. As the first half went on, the Warriors began to control the ball with longer and longer possessions and attacked the opposition with a free kick by Andrew Qian ‘21 and several deep through balls. However, both defenses stayed strong and the first half was goalless.

“We really settled in to our game plan [as the half progressed],” Coach Devin Hughes said. “We realized that if we play our brand of soccer, good things will happen.”

In the second half, both teams continued to hammer away at the opposing defense. Westwood started off with a long possession, but while they were able to get a free kick in Leander’s territory, it did not translate to a goal. As the half went on, Westwood continued to play through passes across the field. A couple of those passes ended in offsides calls and others forced the opposing keeper to come up and clear the ball but none were able to get the elusive score. Meanwhile, Leander also got a few shots in including one that was saved by Penny with 13 minutes left and another that was off target with ten minutes left. Both defenses fought hard but with seven minutes left, after a shot by Leander that was headed away by Ben Le ‘21 led to a corner, Westwood responded with a lightning-fast counterattack that resulted in a goal by Kiyan Tavasoli ‘22. In the final minutes, Leander tried to get a goal, but Westwood closed the game out after a save by Penny with a minute left.

“We held our own very well [defensively]. Of course, I had a lot of help from Ben Le winning all those headers and Emilio Penny saving all those shots,” defender Daniel Brown ‘21 said. “We just kept clearing that ball and overall, we played a great defensive game. We didn’t allow many shots, and well, we allowed zero goals.”

Westwood’s victory was a product of that shutout defense coupled with an offense based on quick attacks that featured long passes to get behind Leander’s defense.

“The through balls really helped us in counterattacks,” Tomas Llano ‘21 said. “That was Leanders’ weak point. We did a good job of using that to penetrate their defense and that’s how we scored.”

The Warriors will look to start a streak with their next game at Stony Point on Tuesday, March 12.