Boys’ soccer shuts out Galileo Lions with 4–5–1 defense

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Senior co-captain and midfielder Jonathan Argueta keeps the ball away from Lion defenders. Photo by Jacky Huang

Despite losing its first game of the regular season against the Lincoln Mustangs on Jan. 7, the boys’ soccer team defeated the Galileo Lions 4–0 on Jan. 12, bringing their record to 3–1.

For the first half of the game against Galileo, Lowell emphasized defense. The team used a 4–5–1 formation, making it difficult for the Lions to advance towards the net. The 4–5–1 places four defenders, five midfielders and one forward, allowing 10 players, including the goalkeeper, to defend the goal. The formation focuses on the versatility of the midfielders to function as part of both defense and offense. The team used this formation to its advantage whenever the Lions would attempt to make a goal, resulting in turnovers.

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However, with the defensive focus in the first half, the Cards offense was weak. Senior forward Cian O’Dwyer, who was the only forward on the field, attempted numerous shots but was not able to get the ball inside the net. However, junior midfielder Paul Lichtmacher helped the Cardinals get onto the scoreboard with the first goal of the game ten minutes into the half, putting them up 1–0.

Senior forward Cian O’Dwyer dribbles the ball past the Lions’ defense on Jan. 12. Photo by Jacky Huang

In the second half, the Cardinal midfielders shifted their attention to offense. At the beginning of the half, O’Dwyer quickly scored a goal, followed by senior center midfielder Nicholas Kaliss and another by junior right midfielder Liam Craddock. “We were passing around in the back a lot, around our defense, and waited for a good play to open up,” Kaliss said. The Cards ended the game with a 4–0 victory.

“We were passing around in the back a lot, around our defense, and waited for a good play to open up”

Throughout the game, the Lions were not able to keep up with the Cardinals’ strong defense and aggressive offense. The Lions were held scoreless. The Cardinal defense made sure to keep the ball out of the Lions’ control and pressured the opposing players with the ball, according to senior midfield captain Jonathan Argueta-Vasquez.

Senior midfielder Nicholas Kaliss kicks the ball. Photo by Jacky Huang

After the team lost its first match of the season because of lack of communication, head coach Juan Lopez incorporated more team bonding activities during practices to fix this problem. In the first game of the season, new players were not familiar or comfortable with the veteran players, resulting in a lack of player interactions during practices and games. However, after team building exercises, the players were able to communicate better on the field and pass the ball efficiently. “Anytime we have a good practice before a game and the guys are in good spirit, it always usually leads to a good game,” Lopez said.

“Anytime we have a good practice before a game and the guys are in good spirit, it always usually leads to a good game.”

On Jan. 17, the boys’ soccer team won against the John O’ Connell Boilermakers 4–0. They will face off against the June Jordan Jaguars at Lowell at 3:30 p.m. today.