Boys Soccer Beats Sage Creek Bobcats

By Devin Gaan, Staff Writer

Fresh off a heartbreaking loss to Torrey Pines on Tuesday, the boys soccer team was looking to bounce back against the Sage Creek High School Bobcats that had been shut out 3-0 in their previous matchup with La Costa Canyon.

The majority of the first half was spent in a back-and-forth fashion, with neither side able to convert. Both sides created a fair amount of chances, but every attempt was blocked by solid defensive lines on both teams. The Mustangs appeared to be fatigued coming off of Tuesday’s loss and as a result, the first half was played at slow pace with much of the action taking place in the midfield. SDA was granted a corner kick in stoppage time at the end of the first half, but senior striker Jonathan Sabouri’s cross went long and the referees signaled for half-time.

The start of the second half saw the Mustangs make some substitutions and almost immediately, more chances were created. SDA earned themselves four corner kicks over the following 20 minutes, and each time the Mustangs came closer and closer to scoring. Unfortunately, unlucky bounces and solid defending prevented SDA from breaking the deadlock, but one could sense as the game went on that goals were on the horizon.

Sure enough, at the 63rd minute, junior Chris Pickering’s dribbling effort earned a foul and Mustangs free kick at the edge of Sage Creek’s box. Junior Jacob Bland stepped up to the ball and curved a left-footed shot right toward the Bobcat keeper. Poor hands from the goalie saw the ball sneak right above him and nestle into the back of the net, thus ending the stalemate and giving the Mustangs a 1-0 lead. The free kick from Bland seemed to open it up for the Mustangs, as about a minute later, SDA scored again on a shot from senior Ethan Boutelle after a shot from Sabouri deflected off of the Sage Creek keeper right into Boutelle’s waiting feet.

With those two quick goals, the game appeared to be over, as Sage Creek looked defeated and lacking the energy to attempt a late comeback. The Mustangs added icing on the cake in the last minutes of the game when senior Brandon Adams fired a beautiful lobbed pass into the center of the box, which landed right at the feet of a cutting Sabouri. He masterfully controlled the lob with his right foot before proceeding to calmly nod it past the keeper with his left, thus capping a solid 3-0 victory for the Mustangs.

After the game, Mustang head coach Keith Whitmer was pleased with the performance of his team. “In the second half we kind of mixed things up and changed a couple of players and their positions to get a couple of kids off who wouldn’t normally come off. Then when they came back on we told them, ‘just make a difference, go impact the game,’… when they all came in, they changed the game. They did a great job,” said Whitmer.

The Mustangs’ next match takes place on the road against LCC on Tuesday. “Going forward, hopefully now we can figure out ways to win,” Whitmer said. “That was a hard game to play, it was different from playing Torrey Pines, playing LCC. Now we gotta figure out how to do the same thing and keep winning, keep grinding them out, just keep doing what we do.”