Boys JV soccer team dominates Menlo-Atherton

Ryan+Jocson%2C+a+sophomore+team+captain%2C+battles+for+possession.+

Austin Li

Ryan Jocson, a sophomore team captain, battles for possession.

In Friday’s JV soccer game, the Scots delivered the Bears their first loss in a 3-1 victory. 

Over the past few years, the two teams have consistently battled in close games, as every year, both teams are near the top of their league

This year was no different. Entering the game, both teams were undefeated and tied first in their league. The Scots had just come off a tough victory over Aragon and were hungry to continue their streak. 

“This was the toughest week in our schedule. We had just beaten Aragon, which was one of the top teams in our league. However, entering the game, we did not let that victory change our mindset. We were hungry to take the number one seed, and with our returning sophomores and talented young freshman, I think it was very possible,” said Kyle Chan, a sophomore. 

Throughout the first half, the Scots dominated possession of the ball. With outstanding defense, Carlmont consistently contained the Bears to their half and got multiple shots on goal. Whenever momentum would drive the Bears upfield, bad passes and blocked shots would force a counter-attack from Carlmont. 

Towards the end of the first half, Carlmont fouled the Bears resulting in a free-kick. However, the kick never even reached the penalty area as Carlmont’s wall blocked it.  

Now with possession, the team quickly drove up the field with pace and efficiency. Great passes and shifty moves by Kotaro Kikuchi, a freshman, set up a shot; however, the Bears’ goalie saved it. 

At the end of the first half, the score was 0-0.

“Carlmont played extremely well and dominated us from a possession standpoint. Our team did well on offense. However, we just couldn’t finish, but I got to give [Carlmont] credit for their sticky defense. There’s a lot we have to work on but, I’m looking forward to our next game against Carlmont,” said Ryan Kearney, Menlo Atherton’s (M-A) JV coach. 

Once the second half started, M-A brought an intensity that hadn’t been seen in the first half. Their decision-making and defense had greatly improved, and they quickly scored off of a header by Derrick Kennedy, a sophomore. 

However, the Scots didn’t back down. In response, Kikuchi scored off an excellent dribble move and tied the score 1-1. 

A few possessions later, the Scots would score off a beautiful assist by Zain Passi, a freshman, to Adrian Watson, a freshman. 

The Scots sprint to celebrate with Kotaro Kikuchi, a sophomore, after his second goal.

After the goal, the Scots continued to apply pressure, and the Bears struggled to find any openings. For the rest of the half, their only shot attempts came from free-kicks that were blocked by Carlmont’s goalie, sophomore Hudson Fox.

Sealing the game, Kikuchi scored his second goal off a cross by Ryan Jocson, a sophomore, making the final score 3-1. 

“It felt great scoring those two goals when it mattered most against such a formidable opponent. Our team’s energy really increases when someone scores, so I feel like, with those goals and the game, we grew as a team,” Kikuchi said. 

Such excitement can also be seen in Carlmont’s coaching staff. 

“It was a very good performance across the board. We had a tough game Wednesday, and many players who had an off-game really stepped out today. Even the players on the bench showed immense energy, which helps our team’s overall performance. This was one of the more complete performances I’ve seen from a JV team, and to dominate a team like M-A is something I am very proud of,” said Ryan Freeman, the Carlmont JV coach.

 

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