Chaminade Eagles speed past the Crespi Carmelites

At 5 p.m. on Wednesday evening, the sun is setting at Chaminade High, but the Chaminade boys’ soccer team is waiting for the
starting whistle. The boys’ soccer team has experienced some instability
regarding being on probation this year, but on Feb. 4, all of this
seemed to fade to the background.

Tensions
were high as the game began due to two of Crespi’s starters being former
Chaminade students. Once the game begins the two teams’ battle from the
beginning to the end. From the stands one can hear Chaminade goalkeeper and
captain Angus Bent directing defenders. As
the first half goes on, Chaminade takes several shots on goal that are stopped
by either defenders or the goalkeeper. But while Crespi’s passing and
defensive press weaken towards the end of the first half, Chaminade’s passing
gets sharper and they force the offensive Crespi players to make quick
decisions. And with the vision of Chaminade’s defenders and the speed of
Chaminade’s forwards a goal comes from sophomore striker
Cade Pendergast in the twelfth minute. This goal leads to an energy burst by
both sides which in turn bring more accurate shots on goal.

Forward Ray Gill uses his speed to outrun
defenders and place accurate crosses for the center forwards and attacking
midfielders. Going into halftime the score is 1-0 Chaminade, but the
game is far from over.

In the second half Crespi comes out with a renewed fire,
and it takes a few minutes for Chaminade to meet that intensity. Up until this
point, Chaminade’s defensive line had been solid with players Owen McEvoy,
Ian Parkinson, and captain Stephen Matosian, but when Matosian has to step off
the pitch for a back-related injury, sophomore Cooper Crane fills
the void. Although Crespi is fighting Chaminade’s
intensity with their own, Eagles senior Tanner Pacheco receives a great
cross and uses his quickness to score with eight minutes remaining, giving Chaminade a 2-0 lead.

As the game goes on, Crespi’s frustration mounts as they receive two yellow cards, one for jersey pulling and
one for throwing the ball at the referee. But Chaminade is forced to remain without any
red cards for the term of their probation. As the second half progresses, Crespi
gets more and more aggressive and this eventually leads to an on-field
confrontation between a Chaminade player and a Crespi player. But junior
forward Ray Gill is able to settle the Chaminade player down in order to
prevent Chaminade’s program from being suspended.

After the game, Bent was excited because he claimed “up until this point, we really have
been missing the finishing touch in the second half, but the goal in the second
half by Tanner proved that we are a playoff worthy team.”

This idea was also
expressed by senior captain Matosian when he said that their “hard work
in the second half was a game changer.”

—Yewande Ilawole