by Erica Suh & Dana Navarrete
Varsity strikers end season in first round of CIF Southern Section playoffs after a loss to Laguna Hills in penalty kicks after rallying through a double overtime. The final score in regular minutes was tied at 1-1.
“I feel that it is a great opportunity to make our school stand out a little,” said Aldair Martinez, senior varsity defender. “We all have a vision, and that vision is to end season with a ring on our hands [and] we’re going to work as hard as possible for it.”
Laguna Hills currently holds an overall record of 15-9-3. In comparison, the strikers have a league record of 7-1-2 and an overall record of 11-6-4, placing them second in the Almont League.
“This team is different compared to other teams,” said senior goalkeeper Ivan Barranco. “We have failed, but we learned from our failures, and together we strive for success. Any other team would have given up a long time ago. A team like this would get far in this competition.”
The strikers plan to continue their hard work in the playoffs.
“In the beginning of the season, we weren’t playing as well as we wanted to, but as games and practices passed, we managed to improve our game and chemistry,” said Martinez.
The strikers concluded their season with a win against the Montebello Oilers Feb. 12 with a score of 1-0.
“Although we did not get the result we wanted to get, I am glad to say that we never put our heads down, because we grew as a family,” said Barranco.
The JV strikers also defeated the Oilers Feb. 12 with a score of 2-1, allowing them to take second in league.
“We could have done better,” said JV midfielder Jake Garcia. “We could have gotten first place with the team that we have. We just have to fix our mistakes.”
On Feb. 10, the strikers won against the Mark Keppel Aztecs, 5-0.
“Our plans next year with our team are to train harder than ever to be the one team [that] other schools are afraid to face,” said Carlos Ortiz, JV midfielder.
*UPDATE: Varsity strikers end season in first round of CIF Southern Section playoffs after a loss to Laguna Hills in penalty kicks after rallying through a double overtime. The final score in regular minutes was tied at 1-1. (02/20/15-8 p.m.)