The Fountain Valley High School boys’ varsity soccer team played against Corona del Mar High School on April 15, coming up short 0-2.
The game started in possession of Fountain Valley with a long kick. The Barons were quickly put on defense when Corona del Mar aggressively took possession and pushed the ball to the other side. Junior Masin Marini slowed the tempo by boxing out an opposing player as the ball went out of bounds.
In the 12 minute, Corona del Mar continued to apply pressure and almost scored with the ball narrowly flying over the top of the goal.
The ball continued to travel back and forth, until senior Andres Rodriguez collided with a player from Corona del Mar. They remained in control of the ball and denied the Barons the chance to play offense.
The opportunity arose for Fountain Valley when goalie senior Connor Trapp kicked the ball far across the field. The Barons pushed the ball forward and neared Corona del Mar’s goal in a tense scuffle when sophomore Devin La Clair passed to Rodriguez and narrowly missed the goal.
Energy increased on both sides as the ball switched control. Senior Andrew Gomez fouled a Corona del Mar player resulting in a penalty shot. The penalty shot was blocked, but fell in front of a Corona del Mar player who managed to score in the 27th minute.
“Right out the gate, we were slow. Corona del Mar came out faster than us and we never came through or fought hard enough. There were a lot of moments where they managed to run harder and get to the ball before us and that shouldn’t have happened,” La Clair said.
Possession switched to Fountain Valley, Barons applied more offensive pressure with senior Kristopher Anderson almost scoring, but body blocked by a Corona del Mar player. Tensions rose when Anderson and sophomore Peter Lam collided with a Corona Del Mar player ending the first half 0-1.
“Our intensity was low and our midfield [they] weren’t able to win the ball in the air. That basically gave them the ball every time allowing them to continually put pressure on us,” junior Alex Pham said.
The second half started with a tight scuffle when Corona del Mar surged forward and almost scored. Corona del Mar remained in control for the first 15 minutes of the second half. Gomez stole the ball from a Corona del Mar player who was near Fountain Valley’s goal and kicked it outward. Barons were able to retake control and senior Sebastin Rus moved it downfield.
Corona del Mar, however, trapped Gomez and kicked the ball back on offense. An opposing player neared Fountain Valley’s goal, but was blocked by Trapp. This led to an argument between them where the referees intervened and broke them up 64 minutes into the game.
Tensions heightened and the ball went back and forth for the next nine minutes. After some coordinated passes, a Corona del Mar player found an opening between the Barons and scored again leading 0-2 84 minutes in.
The game became more mellow as both teams locked into a stalemate over possession. The game ended with a final score of 0-2.
“It is one of those games where it teaches us we need to just keep going. It wasn’t one of our best games, but we have four more to go in the league. We’re going to work hard to focus on those games. We lacked quality today and struggled to connect passes. It’s just one of those games,” head coach Jason Smith said.