The Charger Account

Boys Soccer Suffers 4-0 Loss in Home Game Against San Marcos

Once+the+referee+blew+the+final+whistle%2C+the+game+was+0-4.+Afterwards%2C+players+and+coaches+from+both+teams+lined+up+to+shake+hands+and+commend+one+another+for+a+strong+effort.+
Once the referee blew the final whistle, the game was 0-4. Afterwards, players and coaches from both teams lined up to shake hands and commend one another for a strong effort.

Once the referee blew the final whistle, the game was 0-4. Afterwards, players and coaches from both teams lined up to shake hands and commend one another for a strong effort.

Once the referee blew the final whistle, the game was 0-4. Afterwards, players and coaches from both teams lined up to shake hands and commend one another for a strong effort.

By Sam Haj, Staff Writer

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Under a vibrant setting sun on Jan. 30, Dos Pueblos High School faced off against San Marcos High School in a Varsity Boys Soccer match at DP’s Scott O’Leary stadium.

Notorious rivals, the two teams exhibited admirable sportsmanship throughout the match and played a clean game.

SM kicked off the evening with the first attack on DP’s goal, but the goalie, senior Nicholas Mackie, saved the ball in the nick of time. After some back and forth action on both sides, SM launched an impressive, but fruitless, corner kick towards the players clustered around the goal. As the ball approached, the eager players fought to get in position, jumping up for headers and calling out frantically. But the ball did not stop, and as it sailed over the heads of both teams, the disappointment was palpable on their faces.

Minutes later, SM squared up to take a free kick after DP fouled one of their players, earning a yellow card in the process. Initially looking promising, SM’s hopes were dashed when the ball collided with the crossbar and was promptly cleared out of the box by defender and junior Lucas Eilbacher.

Taking their first offensive of the game, DP advanced toward the SM goal thanks to a lofty pass from midfielder and senior Oscar Ferreira to forward and senior Michael Elbert. Encountering pressure from the SM defense, Elbert crossed the ball over to the middle, where it was intercepted by Matthew Carlson and redirected toward the goal. However, Carlson’s momentum gave the ball extra speed, and his kick launched the ball clear over the net.

After more rallying up and down the field, DP fouled an SM forward in the box, and the referee made the dreaded call: “PK!” The fouled SM player prepared to take the penalty kick, lining up a few yards in front of the goal. After a tense moment of silence, the ball flew toward the goal, only to slam into the crossbar and ricochet into the fray of DP’s defense.

Both teams made three more attempts on the goals, but the defenders put up a valiant effort and managed to block every attack; that is, until an SM player squeezed past Eilbacher, sprinted up the right side of the field, and crossed the ball to a midfielder, who tapped it past Mackie’s guard, scoring SM’s first goal and bringing the first half to a close.

That early goal “ really stung, as it doubled their lead,” York said, “and put us in a position of mild desperation and increased risk-taking.”

Nonetheless, the boys did not get discouraged and came back kicking in the second half.

With the setting sun painting the horizon purple and red and the Supermoon rising over the guest-side bleachers, the stadium was a picturesque scene, and the spectators cheered enthusiastically as the players prepared to dive back into the game.

DP kicked off the second half after the teams switched sides, but promptly lost possession of the ball due to a speedy SM interjection. The ball rolled out of bounds behind DP’s goal, giving SM a corner kick and an opportunity to score. SM did not waste the opportunity as the ball found its way to an open forward, who shot it into the bottom-left corner of the net, scoring SM’s second goal.

Despite the chill that began seeping through the air, zipping up jackets and lifting hoods to cocoon cold heads, the energy of the players never diminished, nor did the fervor of the spectators’ cheering and encouragement. With unflinching persistence, DP continued pushing against SM’s solid defense, trying to find a hole in their strategy that would allow DP to tie up the score.

DP retaliated SM’s goal with a push down the middle of the field and a direct shot on goal, but the SM goalie caught it and dropped low, returning it to one of his defenders.

A scuffle left both teams at odds about a hand ball, but the referee did not make a call, so play resumed with SM in possession. Their left forward dribbled the ball through three DP defenders and passed it to a teammate by the left sideline, who crossed it back to the middle and found the top right corner of the net, scoring SM’s third goal.

Shaking his head, York attempted to approach the game from a different angle, developing a new strategy.

“We had just played a few tough games prior to this,” York said. “You could see the memories of those games creep in and affect our mentality moving forward.”

While the DP players may have been frustrated, they never let on, and maintained a positive outlook for the remainder of the game, unyielding until the last whistle. SM fouled DP midfielder Ferreira, who brushed it off and launched the ball to Elbert on the other end of the field. Before Elbert could take a shot, however, the referee’s whistle blew shrilly, and he called Elbert off-sides. SM encountered the same issue when, minutes later, they tried to cross the ball from the right corner of the box to the middle, where a forward stood off-sides.

DP took possession with a pass from the defense to the top-left corner of the box, where senior Kevin Ulloa chipped the ball to Elbert in an attempt to make a header. Elbert tried to redirect it into the goal, but missed by a hair’s breadth and it flew over the net.

With time running out, SM made a final advance with a free kick on the goal, but was blocked by Mackie. The ball rolled away and was picked up by an SM forward, who punted it into the goal before Mackie was able to make it back into position, scoring SM’s fourth and final goal of the night.

As the referee’s whistle blew, signaling the end of the game, the players lined up at opposite ends of the midfield line and approached one another to shake hands and give congratulations. The spectators’ cheers blended with those of the players as both teams huddled up to salute their opponents for a well-played game.

After the game, Coach York explained that for the team, “This game was always going to be a challenge” as most of SM’s players last year had returned this year and brought their A-game with them.

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