Senior defender Ethan Monasa (left), junior defender Adam Akin (right) and soccer coach Matt Vargo (right) escort an injured senior midfielder Malek Owaidat off the field. (Photo by Kali Wells)

Soccer team triumphs in first league game of season

Scoring three goals in the second half, senior forward Arjin Claire led Country Day’s varsity soccer team to a 3-2 win against Western Sierra Collegiate Academy in the Cavs’ first league game of the season on Sept. 21.

A rivalry between the Western Sierra Wolves and Country Day Cavaliers has formed over multiple seasons, making this game more significant to the team than usual, said senior defender Miles Morrow.

Spectators’ cheers were heard throughout the match due to the high turnout of fans rooting for the Cavaliers. 

A foul by one of the Cavs’ defenders gave Western Sierra a free kick, which they converted, leaving the Cavs down by one for the first half. 

Midway through the second half, Claire scored a hat trick, bringing the Cavs ahead of the Wolves for the rest of the game.

Later in the second half, senior midfielder Malek Owaidat suffered a minor leg injury after a run-in with a Western Sierra player. Owaidat’s leg started cramping after he was knocked to the ground, sending him to the bench for the rest of the game.

 “In the second half, Western Sierra started playing over aggressively, definitely more than they usually should be when playing soccer,” Owaidat said. 

A mistake late in the second half by the Cavs’ defense allowed the Wolves to score a second goal, leaving Country Day with a one-goal lead.

“Overall, the team came together well,” Co-coach George Champayne said. “We had three starters missing, so I was a bit worried, but in the last 20 minutes of the game, we came out really strong.”

Owaidat expressed a similar positive outlook.

“My goal for the season is for us to go undefeated. We definitely have the ability to do so, and today’s game is just the start of our streak,” he said.

The Cavs play at home against Cristo Rey on Sept  28, at 4:00 p.m.

— By Dylan Margolis

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