A Busy and Productive Week for Boys Varsity Soccer Squad

The Tigers’ Jack Barlett (right) shows some slick ball-handling skills against Flintridge on Tuesday during the teams’ 1-1 draw. Photo by Henk Friezer

The South Pas boys varsity soccer team played three games at Maranatha High for the SGV Cup on Friday and Saturday, winning two and losing one, then walked away with 1-1 draw against Flintridge Prep at home on Tuesday.

The Tigers walked away with an 8-0 win against Rancho Christian on Friday and then returned Saturday and lost 3-0 against The Palmdale Aerospace Academy before beating the host team Maranatha 5-3.

Head coach Juan Zurita said he saw early on against Rancho Christian that his Tigers are a young team, and he started to pull his starters little by little as the game went on. Though it was scoreless in the first 10 minutes, that changed quickly.

The game against The Palmdale Aerospace Academy was even throughout, and both teams finished the game with seven shots on goal, but the Griffins was able to capitalize on their opportunities while the Tigers couldn’t take advantage of the four one-on-one chances they had. Zurita even decided to play with three defenders so he can have four attacking and it still didn’t get them a goal.

The game against Maranatha was one-sided for a lot of the time where South Pas dominated and scored three straight goals before the Minutemen answered back but ultimately lost.

South Pas struggled a little in the first half of the game against Flintridge Prep. The Rebels were able to connect on a few through passes — and one of those led to a one-on-one with senior goalkeeper Iggy Quibilian and was the first goal of the game, in the 20th minute.

South Pas marched back to even it up soon after when a shot on goal by midfielder Caleb Lee led to a corner kick that Lee put into the net with a header in the 26th minute.

The Tigers finished the game with 13 shots on goal, while the Rebels had 12.

“If we play like we did today — opening the field a little more to the right or left — we have better chances to win,” Zurita said. “We controlled the midfield much better, and that gives a little more freedom to have the outside guys to go deep and we attack with three or four guys all the time. Every time we do that with ball control, we’re more dangerous up front.”

The Tigers play an offside trap on defense that pushes the opponents’ forward back, but sometimes it gives up through passes that lead to goals.

“I play pretty high because when we put pressure on their half, our chances to control the game is better,’’ Zurita said. “Once in a while, when one player makes a back and forth move, it goes away. Sometimes it works and the referee calls it, but most of the time because of the wrong move, it’s gone, and that’s why they were sending through-balls and almost scored.”

Quibilian came out of the game midway through the second half and was replaced by sophomore Jacob Mills.