“We need to get a win,” senior Aidan Cunningham said before the Cavs’ Jan. 26 matchup against the Leroy Greene Academy Lions.
“We need to bring home three points.”
In league, a win is worth three points, a tie worth one and a loss zero. A loss to the Lions would have meant it would be near impossible for the the Cavs to amass enough points to qualify for playoffs.
But the Cavs brought their A-game and beat the Lions handily, 4-0.
In the Cavs’ matchup against the league-leading Cristo Rey Saints, the Saints controlled the ball and didn’t allow the Cavs to play their aggressive style.
But the Lions didn’t dictate the pace of the game like the Saints.
The Cavs took control from the beginning. Junior Theo Kaufman dribbled down the left sideline, juked a defender, cut back to the top of the box and hit a powerful, dipping shot across the goal, dinging the crossbar before finding the back of the net.
With the end of the first half nearing, Cunningham dribbled the ball into the Lions’ goal box and, as he got to the goal line, turned on a dime to send a pass to Kaufman in the middle of the box. This put the Cavs up 2-0 going into halftime.
Midway through the second half, sophomore Nate Jakobs cleared a bouncing ball from the top of the Cavs’ goal box over the Lions’ defenders. Cunningham received the ball and directed it around the Lions’ keeper, increasing the Cavs’ lead to three.
With 15 minutes remaining, senior Emil Erickson received the ball near the top of the Lions’ box, took a touch and bent the ball around the keeper with his off-foot, closing out the game, 4-0.
Erickson attributed the Cavs’ domination to winning 50/50 balls.
But Jakobs said the biggest factor was the Cavs’ ability to set the pace of the game.
“We came in needing to win, and they didn’t do too much to get in the way of us doing so,” Jakobs said.
“We were able to play the way we wanted, and that’s when we excel.”
The Cavs’ next game will be Monday, Jan. 30, against the Western Sierra Collegiate Academy Wolves at 4:20 p.m. at Western Sierra. The Wolves are 3-4-2 and 1-3 in league.
The Cavs are 4-6 and 1-3 in league.
—By Jake Longoria