The Iliad

The Student News Site of Poway High School

The Student News Site of Poway High School

The Iliad

The Student News Site of Poway High School

The Iliad

Varsity soccer rebuilds after 18 graduate

Keyli Salgado

   At the sound of the first whistle, Poway boys varsity soccer team bursts into action, their spirit and determination unwavering across the entire 90 minute game. They met Carlsbad the chilly evening of December 12, and despite a strong defensive effort, Carlsbad scored in the 18th, 48th, 60th, and 73rd minutes, with the game concluding in a 4-0 loss. Despite the score, both teams were comparable in skill, and Poway was able to put pressure on their opponents the entire game. 

   Ultimately what cost the Titans the game was the inability to get the ball into the opposing goal. 

   “We did not capitalize on our opportunities to score during the game,” assistant varsity coach Tori Ornela said.

   The team was not discouraged by the loss, and views it as a learning opportunity to address shortcomings early, before heading further into the season. 

   “Our main focus to work on is finishing and shooting during this week. It is the biggest weakness that we have currently,” Ornela said. 

   To fix this, Ornela and Coach Gene Morris plan on the team focusing on 1-2 touch shooting drills.

   Just as the team examines its shortcomings, the team is ensuring the areas in which they were successful are recognized. Throughout the game, Poway was able to maintain possession of the ball against Carlsbad, and the offensive and defensive sides of the team operated well as a unit. The defenders delayed attacks and the midfielders managed the flow of the game well. 

   “Our transition from offense to defense and vice versa was quick and the physicality to win the ball back went well during the game,” Ornela said.

   As the game continued, the team started improving the decisions made on the ball and the quality movement off the ball, unfortunately play came to an end before any of these adjustments could manifest in a goal.

   Poway currently has a record of 1-3-1 and their next game is on Jan. 5 against Scripps Ranch. Last season the team lost 18 seniors, and is in the process of rebuilding, or as Head Coach Gene Morris says, “reloading the team”. They are ranked 15 out of 22 teams in Division One. In the Palomar League, they stand at fifth out of seven teams. They have one goal for and seven goals against, a statistic that reveals how integral the goalies have been to the team’s success.

   The goalies have made a total of 17 saves between the two of them, 11 by sophomore Jacob Jestand, and six by junior Tyler Binda. Jestand earned a shut-out (when the goalie has prevented all shots on goal in the game) in the Westview game and against University City, and Binda has a total of two shut-outs.  

   Poway plays rivals Rancho Bernardo on Jan. 19. Players and parents on both sides are looking forward to the game against players that they have grown and developed with, many of the players having played together in club soccer. 

    “We are excited to play with our friends and teammates,” sophomore Jestand said.

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