By Skyler Blume,
The Davis High men’s varsity soccer team lost in the San Joaquin Section finals to the Oak Ridge Trojans by a score of 2-1 on Nov. 15 at Cosumnes Oaks High School.
The game came to a dramatic ending as multiple Davis players contested a referees no call on an alleged handball in the final seconds of the game near the Oak Ridge goal. Keeper Pable Guarnizo, who had been taken out of the goal in a last attempt to score, was given a red card moments before the whistles sounded the end of the game.
Many Davis players were stunned by the turn of events that ended the game. Coach Alex Park said that his team’s reactions were the result of playing their hearts out only for the game to end in a loss.
Those emotions were apparent throughout the entire game as players on both teams were extremely physical. Throughout the game there were two yellow cards against Davis and one against Oak Ridge in addition to the red card against Guarnizo.
Davis was the first to strike as Matteo Sorrentino deftly placed a free kick into the top corner of the goal half way through the first half. Overall the teams were evenly matched and neither team had many opportunities to score.
Guarnizo had done a great job preventing Oak Ridge from scoring, which helped keep Oak Ridge in check along with the offensive pressure from DJ Villegas and Francis Avoce.
However 23 minutes into the second half, Oak Ridge was able to get the ball into the net during a chaotic scrum in front of the Davis goal to tie the game 1-1.
Then with just five minutes left, Guarnizo deflected a shot that rebounded off of the crossbars and Guarnizo’s back to end up in the goal to give the Trojans the lead.
Davis was unable to score again, in part due to the handball incident in the final moments. While Park believes that calls throughout the game did not all go in the Blue Devils’ favor, it is only part of the game.
“We should have been in this game, and we were,” Park said. “We should have won, but it didn’t happen that way.”
This was the last game for the teams’ six seniors and while disappointing for them, Park believes that the loss could help the team in the long run as the experience that comes from a game like this will motivate younger players.