In the two games prior to their Dec. 9 match-up against the Encina Prep Bulldogs, the Cavs held their opponents (the Victory Christian Vikings and the Forest Lake Christian Falcons) scoreless with a combined 13-0 goal margin.
But the Bulldogs put a dent into that margin- and the Cavs’ record – when they handed them a 0-3 defeat.
The Cavs started the game in a defensive formation, which didn’t bring much success. Within minutes, the Bulldogs were ahead, 0-2.
But the Cavs couldn’t fire back. The Bulldogs’ defense, led by juniors Brandon Alvarez and Alex Campos and senior Yasir Mira, held the boys scoreless and out of Bulldog territory.
Near the end of the first half, the Bulldogs delivered the final blow: a lucky bounce found the back of the net, giving Encina an even stronger lead at halftime.
The second half went back and forth between both teams. Being down 0-3, the Cavs switched into a more offensive formation, trying to get on the board.
Despite both teams having multiple scoring opportunities, neither team could convert, letting the Bulldogs walk off with their win as the last whistle blew.
Junior Theo Kaufman said the biggest difference between Encina and their previous opponents is the size of their student bodies.
“(Encina) is a public school, and they have a ton more kids than we do,” Kaufman said.
Despite the loss, Kaufman said he’d welcome playing the Bulldogs again.
“They were definitely one of the better teams we will play this year, but I think we have the potential to beat them,” Kaufman said.
According to senior Emil Erickson, the boys need to improve multiple aspects of their game.
“We need to work on passing out of the defense, controlling possession and finishing our chances on goal,” Erickson said.
Head coach Matt Vargo agreed with Erickson.
“We need to work on finishing,” Vargo said. “Even though our defense played well, we still need to communicate better.”
The Cavs will look to implement these changes when they face off against the Delta Saints Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 3 p.m. in Clarksburg.