Braves Lose to Panthers

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On February 17th, the Baldwin Park Braves Boys Varsity Soccer team faced the Perris Panthers at Perris High School in the first match of the CIF Southern Section and lost 2-1.

Team Captain Jesus Flores shared his thoughts on the game, saying, “We played well. I know the score didn’t reflect how we played; we dominated the second half and overtime, we just couldn’t get the goals in.”

The first half proved to be very intense as neither team could gain the upper hand. The Panthers were the first to gain control of the ball, but their offense was quickly dealt with by the Braves’ goalkeeper, Luis Morales, whose skill became invaluable as the game progressed. Morales’ efforts were aided by the defensive plays of Regy Antunez and Juan Cortez.IMG_1646(New)

The Braves’ offense in the first half was largely led by midfielder Luis Villa who made several attempts at scoring, but could not penetrate the Panthers’ defense. Both teams seemed evenly matched as they ended the first half with a score tied at 0-0.

The Panthers managed to score early into the second half of the game, causing a noticeable drop in morale among the Braves. It was looking as if the Braves were going to lose the game, but the Braves did not give up and Manuel Prado scored a goal for the Braves, which immediately raised the spirits of the team. Finding a new vigor after evening the score, the Braves went into overtime with a new ferocity.

In overtime, the game was a constant battle as the Braves aggressively sought to win the game as they kept the ball in their possession most of the time throughout the rest of the game. Brian Zuniga and Miguel Gonzalez each successfully prevented the Panthers from scoring. Yet, the game ended in a loss for the Braves as the Panthers managed to score on the team, ending the game and the Braves’ season.

Several of the team’s players, especially seniors, acknowledged the potential that the team holds for the future as many of their most skilled players will be returning next year. As Jesus Flores put it, “We have a young team. We’ve got to get ready for next year, give it our all, be ranked number 1, take League and CIF.”

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