On Friday night, the boys soccer team cruised to an impressive 3-0 win against the Sequoia Ravens, getting an important first win in league play.
From the first whistle on, M-A peppered the Sequoia goalkeeper with shots and put continuous pressure on the Ravens defense until they gave in.
M-A’s first good opportunity came just two minutes into the game after a corner kick was followed up by a barrage of shots, including a near miss from senior midfielder Cameron Leung, after a great setup from junior striker Nathan Thurlow.
Not too long after, senior midfielder Hewitt Stevenson sent a beautiful pass to Thurlow before he converted an easy shot past the helpless hands of the Sequoia goalie, putting the Bears up one zero after eleven minutes.
Regarding his offensive strategy, Stevenson said, “It’s about switching and playing the ball, going from all angles, having good service, getting the ball in the box, and hoping someone can finish.”
Only a mere two minutes later, Thurlow’s persistent play in Sequoia’s third resulted in a steal and sweet pass to senior forward Caleb Rosas, who finished off the play by putting another ball in the back of the net. Rosas’ goal resulted in a commanding two-goal lead only thirteen minutes into the game for the Bears.
One reason for the Bears continued offensive attacks was their strong defensive performance, in which M-A’s communication, strong tackles, and strategy kept the ball ahead of them at all times. Junior defender Manases Lara Alvarez played a major role in their effective defense, as he stopped every run before it started and helped jumpstart the M-A offense from their own half.
Alvarez said, “If I don’t see anybody I just try to hold the ball in the back. I’m just waiting for runs, if not, I’ll play the goalkeeper back if I need to.” Once he had the ball, M-A was ready to move, and his impressive calmness with the ball at his feet kept the Ravens out of the goal the whole game.
As the first half winded down, Alvarez and the rest of the Bears defense ended the only good chances the Ravens had all game, and M-A held a two-to-zero lead at halftime.
Coming out of halftime, the Bears seemed uninterested in slowing down or wasting any time, and they were ready to continue their offensive onslaught. Stevenson sent the best pass of the night to a wide-open Thurlow at the start of the half as he approached the goalie one-on-one, but he wasn’t able to cash in quite yet.
However, Thurlow broke away from a pack of Ravens once again, and this time he didn’t miss it, netting his second goal of the game after seven minutes in the second half. Thurlow, involved in each of M-A’s scoring plays, finished the match with two goals and one assist.
M-A senior goalkeeper Chase Trigg wasn’t forced to come out of the goal too often during the game, but he made a major save in the second half after a Raven forward got loose on a counterattack, helping preserve the hopes of a Bears’ shutout.
Soon enough, the Bears emptied the bench and the clock winded down before the last whistles blew, and the scoreboard showed Bears three, Sequoia zero.
Senior forward Cristian Romero said about the victory, “It felt good. We just brought in all the intensity we could, and we got our win today.
M-A takes on their next league foe on Wednesday at Burlingame as they look to build on this big win.