By Nicole Pugh,
The Davis High men’s varsity soccer team was able to produce a 3-1 win against their rival Jesuit Marauders after a tense match on Wednesday in the Ron and Mary Brown Stadium.
The Blue Devils were missing one of their key players, D.J. Villegas, due to an automatic suspension from a red card that he received in Monday’s game against Elk Grove.
Davis was on the offensive for the majority of the first half, almost finding the net within the second minute of the game after a header from Francis Avoce was saved by the Jesuit goalkeeper.
It wasn’t until the 22nd minute when Avoce received a pass from Raunak Manandhar and fired a left footed shot into the lower right corner of the net.
Davis kept the streak going when seven minutes later, Ricky Gonzalez popped a header into the goal after a through ball from Matthew Cheung.
Davis had no trouble fending off the rivals in the first half. When the ball left the Blue Devil’s possession, the Jesuit attack was shut down by the Devil’s defense. Senior captain Joe Rainer and goalkeeper Pablo Guarnizo provided great controbutions to this defense.
However, the defense fell apart in the second half allowing a Jesuit goal in the 62nd minute. After that, the Marauders were given many opportunities from Davis defense but were not able to capitalize on any of them due to outstanding goalkeeping from sophomore Connor Judd.
It was an extremely competitive and aggressive game with one yellow card awarded to each team but Davis would not have been able to succeed the way they did without help from Junior captain Isaiah Alba. “He created a lot of attacking plays in the middle,” said head coach Alex Park. “I’ll give him the MVP of the match.”
Alba assisted the third goal for Davis by crossing a through ball to Cheung who then lost his defender with a slick cut to the right and snuck the ball into the net from a strike at the five yard line.
“We really kept up the intensity. I’m happy with how we played,” said Alba. “In the first half we could have kept the ball more instead of just kicking it up field.”
Davis will face Jesuit again on Oct. 11th at Bonney Field in Sacramento, home to the Sacramento FC professional soccer team. Davis will have to prepare for that match with the appropriate mindset given that Jesuit was missing some players during this match.
“I told the boys to remember that they (Jesuit) didn’t have a full team and not to get confident because they will get better and next game will be harder,” said Park.