Northside Men’s Soccer Regional: An Unexpected Loss
By Sasha Aristizabal
On Oct. 15, Northside’s varsity men’s soccer team played its first regional game against Mather. Northside was seeded first in its sectional and was voted by all the coaches to win not only its own regional, but the whole sectional as well. Northside had only lost one game prior to regional playoffs and was undefeated for the majority of their season. Mather was seeded last place and to compete against Northside, they had to play and win the quarter-final game against Amundsen. Although Mather was seeded last, they shocked Northside by winning the game 4-2.
The game started out with Northside ahead 1-0, when Collin Brennan, Adv. 005, scored the first goal. As the game continued, Mather scored and the score was tied 1-1 at halftime. Two of Northside’s starters were unable to play, which may have affected how the game turned out. Midfielder, Alan Rico, Adv. 002, was unable to play due to an ankle injury. Striker Charlie Swan, Adv. 905, was out due to a red card he received at the previous game. Swan has been known for scoring multiple goals, and with him on the sideline, the team’s ability to score was noticeably affected.
As the second half began, Northside did not look as strong as it had before. Within the first five minutes, Mather scored again, leading 2-1. Northside had two shots to score a goal but missed both of them. It was not difficult to see how desperate and anxious the players were to tie and hopefully win the game. With 20 minutes left in the game, Adrian Garces, Adv. 900, ran up the field with the ball and made a perfect pass to Harry Page, Adv. 903, who scored and tied up the game. Things started to look up again with both teams playing strong and trying to score once again to solidify the game. Mather scored with ten minutes left to spare. Northside started to tense up and play desperately. Many of the boys ran up the field with the ball trying to score and even out the game. However, they either missed or ended up losing the ball which resulted in Mather scoring again in the last minute, making the final score 4-2.
This ending was completely unexpected and left the team disappointed and in shock. This game was the last of the season which meant it was the last game for Northside’s seniors. When asked about the game Garces said, “The last game was tough. It was really emotional for me especially because it was our last game. I really enjoyed this year and it was probably my favorite. I am going to miss playing for NCP, [Coach] Cheech and the people I played with. I’m happy with what we did this year and last year.” Elias De Santiago, Adv. 103, said, “It was a tough game and not the result we wanted to end the season with, especially since we started off the season strong. We're losing a lot of key players but we still have a solid base.” The team was senior-oriented this year and the underclassmen are noticing what a difference it will be without them. Northside has won the conference title the last two years, moving up from the third division to the premier division, and are notable competitors. Although losing many of its best players, the team hopes to carry on its legacy.