Sports

Productive Week For Soccer Girls

Meanwhile, Boys Go 1-2, But Coach Says They’re ‘Stepping Up’
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South Pas senior midfielder Corey Segal (left) heads up field vs. Mayfield on Tuesday during the Tigers’ 1-1 draw. Photo by Ahmad M. Akkaoui

The South Pas High School girls soccer team continued its solid play this past week — beating Schurr of Montebello last Thursday and Cabrillo of Lompoc on Saturday before falling against California of Whittier on Saturday and drawing against Mayfield on Tuesday. The Tigers are 3-2-2.

The boys team, meanwhile, lost twice and won once to improve to 3-4-1 on the season.

The girl Tigers pulled off a 5-2 win against Schurr in which they were up 3-0 at halftime. Senior midfielder Andrea Castellanos with a hat trick in the game.

South Pas played two games of its guaranteed four at the Best of the West Tournament, where the Tigers lost to California High 2-0 and then beat Cabrillo 1-0.

South Pas also pulled off a defensive game against Mayfield that ended with a 1-1 tie.

Thursday’s game against Schurr was a one-sided affair in which South Pas was able to make the field smaller defensively and pressure the ball to force them into mistakes.

The Tigers came out of halftime with a comfortable lead, added a goal to make it 4-0, conceded back-to-back Schurr goals, then scored another to make it 5-2.

Senior midfielders Jessica Lat and Chloe Kim scored a goal each to add to Castellanos’ three goals.

The Tigers came into the Best of the West tournament on Saturday morning and didn’t look like themselves. Head coach Francisco Lopez said the team was out of sync and made small mistakes against California that ultimately lost them the game.

The team went into the afternoon game against Cabrillo with a different mindset, and after a goal by Lat, the Tigers walked away with a 1-0 win.

“We reflected on it and corrected the mistakes we made, and we felt we played better,” Lopez said. “I think the first half, we dominated. We possessed well, but we had maybe four [balls] right in front of the goal that we didn’t put away. [Cabrillo] came out more energized and they really gave us a competitive game for that second half, and I think they created some good opportunities, but I think that day, we were the better team.”

Tuesday’s game against Mayfield was one-sided with South Pas defending a lot more than it wanted to. Mayfield was able to get a few shots off that were saved and earned four corner kicks within the first six minutes of the game. It took a little while, but South Pas started to play its game about halfway through the first half.

Lopez had a talk with them at halftime and made some changes. Lopez usually has his team in a 4-3-3 formation but decided to go with a 4-4-2 in order to add more pressure in the midfield.

Boys Team One Game Below .500

The boys team lost 3-1 at Canyon in Canyon Country on Thursday, lost 2-1 to Chavez on Saturday in their final game of the San Gabriel Valley Cup at Maranatha, and won 4-2 at Bassett in La Puente on Tuesday.

Thursday’s game was pretty even on both sides, but Canyon was able to score in the first half to force South Pas into trying to come back from a deficit in the second half.

Head coach Juan Zurita changed the formation at halftime so the team could be more aggressive and raise the intensity in the second half, and it worked to get a goal by Arden Benitez despite conceding two more goals in the second half.

Saturday’s game against Chavez was very balanced and it was a test to see who wanted the win more.

“Our boys played really good soccer, but sometimes we had the ball right in front of the goal, and we just couldn’t finish,” Zurita said. “It was very intense both ways.’’

Tuesday’s game against Bassett was more one-sided than Zurita expected, and after dominating the first half to go up 3-0 at halftime, he started to pull his starters little by little to give minutes to players that don’t usually get a chance to play.

“All three games we played were pretty good soccer,” Zurita said. “The competition was good, and the boys are stepping up the way we want to play in league.’’

Ahmad Akkaoui

Ahmad Akkaoui is a sports writer for the South Pasadena Review covering high school sports in the area. Ahmad is a native of Pasadena and comes to South Pasadena with a background in online, radio, and television media. For all things sports, you can find him on Twitter at @AhmadMAkkaoui.

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