By Aimee YEGHIAYAN
After last year’s beyond successful season, winning the CIF Southern Section Division IV championship and ranking second in the state, the CV boys’ soccer team had a lot to live up to. So far these expectations have been met, despite their loss against Loyola Tuesday.
Tuesday’s 2-0 loss to Loyola in the West Side Tournament – of which exhaustion may have played a part – isn’t all that shocking when considering that the contest was the Falcons’ 10th match in less than two weeks and fifth in the last six days.
The Falcons are currently 8-1-1 in the pre-season after conquering Birmingham High School at St. Francis on Monday. Although the score remained 0-0 through most of the game, the Falcons finished strong with a penalty kick and goal by co-captain Eric Keshishian after a handball by Birmingham in the 79th minute. Goalkeeper Josh Cook kept Birmingham at bay with multiple major saves.
“We’ve played several strong teams, and have put up successful fights against all of them. Our defense has shut down their offense, our midfield has controlled the game, and the forwards have put relentless pressure on their keeper,” said Cook.
“We just plan to score more goals than the other team each game; take one game at a time. We do our best to start each game hard and finish harder. This season, we are still a strong team and will come into each game with confidence knowing we can win as long as we do our best.”
The Falcons did a solid job of scoring more goals, with a total of 17 over the 10 games, and only letting seven get past the Falcons into the goal. As of Monday night they were ranked at No. 1 in the Pacific league Division III standings.
With Keshishian, the other two team captains Amir Hajimirsadeghi and Matt Bracht know how much effort it took for the Falcons to accomplish as much as it has.
“As captains, we definitely are aiming to go just as far as we did last year and hopefully try and take the state championship this time around,” said Hajimirsadeghi. “We have set our goals at no lower standards than we did when we began the season last year.
“With soccer, preparation is everything, not just physically but mentally too. We obviously spent countless hours practicing but we also knew how we should have our mindset entering every game which is for the most part why we come out so strong.”
Player Matt Ryan credits the team’s strength in the ties team members have built.
“I believe what makes us successful is the fact that we all have such strong bonds with each other,” said Ryan. “We are all like brothers to each other.”