Pitch Imperfect: SP Boys Beaten in Soccer Opener

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The South Pas High boys soccer team, wearing white, competes against Pasadena Poly on Tuesday in Pasadena. The Tigers lost 2-0. Photos by Ahmad M. Akkaoui

PASADENA — Do less. That’s the take-away that Juan Zurita, head coach of the South Pas High boys varsity soccer team, hopes his players absorbed following their 2-0, season-opening loss Tuesday at Pasadena Poly. 

“Some of them try to do too much, and every time they do that extra one or two steps with the ball, they think they can go by, and they were losing the ball, and they kept doing that,” Zurita — in his 28th season with the Tigers — said after the match.

“Soccer is simple — we make the field. We could do a little bit less and move the ball, and they play better like that. I think they have to understand that they have to switch that mindset.”

Poly dominated the match, getting both goals in the first half. Zurita said his Tigers might have been overconfident at the start.

“The second half was better — we pushed a little more,’’ he said.

“We put the pressure on their side and got a little better chance to get the ball. The second or third passes connected, and maybe the fourth pass is where we missed it, going deep into their side of the field. … but we can play a lot better than this, and not everyone was in sync together. We can hold the ball really good and rotate better than this.”

The second half saw South Pasadena control the ball more, and the Tigers had more chances to score a goal, though they were unable to.

The Tigers finished with seven shots on goals — including three from junior midfielder Roe Snyder and two from junior striker Caleb Lee.

South Pasadena’s starting goalkeeper, senior Iggy Quibilian, went down in the middle of the second half with a bruised leg after a Poly player ran into him on a one-on-one ball in the box. Reserve goalkeeper Jacob Mills, a sophomore, came in and came up big on two shots inside the box to keep the deficit at two goals.

Zurita said Quibilian should be fine to start the next game — the Tigers’ home opener against Flintridge Prep on Tuesday, Dec. 10.

South Pas and Pasadena Poly players battle for the ball on Tuesday during the Tigers’ season-opener.