Regardless of having already secured a spot in the playoffs, the coed soccer team put in the effort to win 4-1 against Western Sierra in its last league game at home on Oct. 17.
The Cavs started out strong, scoring three goals within the first 20 minutes.
Senior Nate Jakobs was the first to score, followed by two goals from freshman Arjin Claire.
Despite the fast lead, coach George Champayne said the start of the game was the most difficult.
“We kind of let up a bit, which we shouldn’t be doing heading into the playoffs,” he said.
“Since we are already in the playoffs, this was one of those games that doesn’t really matter. But we have to go out and play like this is the playoffs.”
Senior Abby LaComb agreed.
“The most challenging part was to keep playing well even after we scored three goals,” she said.
“We lost a bit of momentum and got a little bit too comfortable with our lead.”
Sophomore Lili Brush said that the Cavs can’t become overconfident.
“It is a recurring theme that after we score a couple of goals, we stop playing as hard and kind of relax,” she said.
Junior Garrett Shonkwiler agreed.
“Our biggest thing to focus on is to never let our guard down,” he said.
“Especially in the playoffs – our team needs to give it 100 percent the whole game!”
Letting their guard down allowed Western Sierra to score their first and only goal in the last 10 minutes of the first half.
During this time, the Cavs received multiple offside calls.
Champayne said there were more calls than normal.
“I don’t know whether it was the linesman or us,” he said.
After halftime – during which the team sang happy birthday to senior Yelin Mao – the Cavs recovered from the challenging end of the first half.
LaComb headed the ball into the goal after a corner kick by Claire.
However, freshman John Fan fouled one of Western Sierra’s players in the goal box right before the goal, so it didn’t count.
Fan later made a goal himself, bringing the score up to 4-1.
Senior Leo Eisner said that Western Sierra’s quick players were a problem.
“Most of the forwards would only need to kick the ball past us and catch up to it because they were much faster,” he said.
LaComb said that although the Cavs’ ball possession was good, they need to work on moving to the ball.
“A lot of times players would wait for the ball to come to them instead of going to the ball, allowing the other team to get the ball,” she said.
Champagne said the team needs to work on communication leading up to the playoffs.
“We’re going to play a team that we’ve never seen before, so we’re going to have to communicate a lot better than we have been in the past few days,” he said.
Eisner also said communication could be improved, as well as aiming passes.
“(We need to) kick the ball to someone’s feet instead of random places up the field,” Eisner said.
The Cavs’ will play their first playoff game on Tuesday, Oct. 23, against Forest Lake Christian at 3 p.m. at Forest Lake Christian.
—By Sarina Rye