Perfection would not be an overstatement to describe the boys’ soccer team after their defeat of the Balboa Buccaneers last Saturday in the AAA championships. To say anything else would be a lie. In winning the championship after a six-year drought, the boys’ soccer team has achieved a perfect 18-0 season.
The Cardinals triumphed over Balboa 3-1 in a dazzling game that demonstrated the growth and development of the players through the season. The team got a leg-up in the championships by facing a weaker opponent after the Buccaneers defeated the Cardinals’ toughest competitors, the Mission Bears. But, the boys never underestimated their opponents.
The first half pitted Balboa’s aggressive offense against the Cardinals’ superb defense, resulting in a scoreless opening that ended only with a goal off of a free kick from senior co-captain and midfielder Carlos Valadez from 35 yards out. The second half was much more tumultuous, as Balboa amped up its offense. Freshman forward Aaron Moye, however, scored with assistance from senior defender Penn Scoble. Balboa also scored a penalty kick leaving the game 2-1.
With the loss of senior co-captain and midfielder Leo Harrington, who separated his shoulder during the game, and the absence of junior forward Cameron Basaing, the team had to rely on its players to step up and deliver; and they did. Junior midfielder Camilo Grabrowski scored by tapping in a free kick in the far post.