Sophomore RJ Vargo makes a tackle in the Cavs 7-1 defeat to the Victory Christian Vikings on April 9. (Photo by Arikta Trivedi)

Soccer team dominates season opener, falls well short in second game

With a score of 7-1, the Country Day’s co-ed soccer team won its season opener against Faith Christian on April 4 in Yuba City. Three days later, the Cavs fell to Victory Christian 7-1 at the Cherry Island Soccer Complex.

In the Cavs first game, Junior Arjin Claire scored three goals, followed by sophomore David Kedem with two goals, and junior Malek Owaidat and sophomore RJ Vargo each with one goal.

Claire said he enjoyed scoring a hat-trick (three goals in one game), but he recognized he has his room for improvement.

“I can’t complain, scoring a hat-trick is great, but I haven’t played an actual game of soccer in over a year, so my skill is not what I had hoped it to be,” Claire said.

Owaidat had a positive outlook, happy with his performance during the game and the rest of the season.

“It felt great to help the team through my goal. I have high aspirations for this season, even with the fact that there are no playoffs,” Owaidat said.

Coach Matt Vargo looks forward to the rest of the season and the improvement to come.

 “We’re just gonna have fun and get better every day. They all need to work on communication, finishing, and fitness, but that is what the rest of the season is for.  It’s really great to be back on the field and to be able to play some soccer.”

In the Cavs second match, the Victory Christian Vikings took the lead within the first 10 minutes.

Despite many solid attempts, the Cavs were unable to produce a goal in the first half. Country Day’s only goal came from junior  Ethan Monasa in the second half. 

After sophomore RJ Vargo floated the ball over two defenders, Monsasa gently passed it by the goalie and into the back of the net.

Despite this, Vargo credited the Cavs’ loss to their inability to capitalize on opportunities.

“Victory Christian was a stronger and faster team, but more importantly, they finished their chances on goal and we just could not do that,” he said.

Co-coach Matt Vargo agreed with this analysis.

“We would get the ball down to their goal area, but we just couldn’t quite get a clean shot on goal,” he said. 

In one instance, sophomore Felix Wu made an aggressive run towards the goal, but teammates were unable to get the ball past the center-back. The opportunity was missed.

Moving forward, the team hopes to work toward increasing physicality. 

“The coaches have talked a lot about their main focuses, and it seems that strength and aggression are definitely the priority,” Monasa said. “I’m sure that we will continue to address them and make sure we do a better job in the future.”

The Cavs play again on April 13 against John Adams Academy at 5 p.m. at the Cherry Island Soccer Complex.

— By Simone DeBerry and Dylan Margolis

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