Without seniors Emil Erickson, Aidan Cunningham and Adam Dean, the Cavs were already fighting an uphill battle during their Feb. 10 league matchup against the Buckingham Charter Knights.

The Knights came into the game with history on their side, having beaten the Cavs, 3-7, the first time the two faced off on Jan. 10.

Missing the core of their team, the Cavs stacked their defense to hold off against the Knights’ aggressive style.

After stopping the Knights’ first attacks, it was the Cavs’ turn to strike. Junior Theo Kaufman received the ball around midfield and showed why he has a team-high nine goals this season.

Kaufman tore through two Knights defenders and held his focus on a 1-on-1 with the goalkeeper, finishing a shot to the left side and putting the Cavs up, 1-0, against the heavily favored Knights.

But the Knights, having lost only two league games all season, didn’t back down. In the next 10 minutes, Buckingham bounced back with two goals of their own, erasing the Cavs’ lead going into halftime.

To start the second half, sophomore Nate Jakobs was put in goal for the first time in five years.

A Knights’ attacker capitalized and found himself unmarked by the Cavs’ defense. After receiving the ball in the middle of the box, the attacker finished increasing Buckingham’s lead to 1-3.

Minutes later, Kaufman had a free kick 40 yards out. He hit a dipping shot towards the back post of the goal. Sophomore Yelin Mao, standing in front of the goal, obstructed the goalie’s field of view, allowing Kaufman’s shot to bounce into the side of the net.

With 10 minutes left, another unmarked Knight finished a close shot in a crowded goal box, ending the game 2-4.

According to Jakobs, although the Cavs were without the core of their team, other players exceeded expectations.

“(Seniors) Mac (Scott) and Christian (Van Vleck) and (freshman) Spencer (Scott) played exceptionally,” Jakobs said.

“They stepped up and played their A game.”

Because the Cavs haven’t qualified for playoffs, their last game of the season was Feb. 13, against the Western Sierra Academy Wolves at home. Check back for results.

By Jake Longoria

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