Redwood boys’ varsity soccer keeps Tamalpais scoreless

A day of light rain and overcast skies set the stage for a slippery and cold game against Tamalpais High School for the Redwood boys’ varsity soccer team on Wednesday, Dec. 5. The Giants emerged from the game with a 2-0 victory following a non-league game loss against Marin Academy on Monday, Dec. 3.

According to senior co-captain Justin Neustaetter, losing the previous game was a shock and a wake-up call.

“Luckily it wasn’t actually in our league so it doesn’t count as much as a game like this, but we were angry and frustrated that we had gotten embarrassed,” Neustaetter said. “It felt good to come out here, and that was kind of the mentality, to
get back into it, especially in our league and where it matters more.”

Harrison Segal
Taking a corner kick is junior Stanley Gaither

Following their MCAL championship season, the Giants currently have a 2-0-1 league record with this victory against Tam as their second win.

Redwood went up 1-0 early into the game after a goal from senior Cole Hardister. After he received a pass from Neustaetter, Hardister wound up and shot. The ball arced towards the bottom right corner of the net and bounced as it reached a diving Tam goalie. Deflected off the outstretched fingers of the goalie, the ball landed successfully into the back of the goal.

“Scoring a goal that early, it definitely gives your team some motivation. You have something going for you, you have a lead to maintain, so it’s something nice it sets you up nicely for the rest of the game. It also makes a statement that we are out there to play,” Neustaetter said.

Following that goal, the Giants maintained pressure on Tam, keeping them on the defensive until halftime. Coming out of halftime, the Tam Hawks seemed to play with a renewed vigor, pushing the Giants back. Despite their efforts, the Redwood defense kept Tam scoreless. According to senior co-captain Nathaniel Kuffner, the Giants were able to maintain complete control of the field in part due to their strategic communication.

“A lot of communication on defense kept a clean sheet,” Kuffner said.

Junior Stanley Gaither secured the 2-0 victory for the Giants. He dribbled the ball past three defenders, nearly tripping over their outstretched legs. In a one-on-one confrontation with the Tam goalie, Gaither shot the ball. It snuck by to the right of the goalie, bouncing off of the left goalpost and into the goal.

“It sealed the game for us. We were up 1-0 for most of the game, and 1-0 is a dangerous lead,” Gaither said in a phone interview.

Harrison Segal
Dodging defenders, senior Justin Neustaetter prepares to pass.

After Redwood’s second goal, the Hawks were noticeably demoralized, according to Neustaetter. The Giants finished out the game strong, making this their second MCAL win of the season.

Senior Anders Hedberg places a lot of importance on this victory, especially after Tam’s initial two victories, both 4-0.

“Tam is one of the top teams in the league, and if we didn’t get a win then it would have put more pressure on us to get wins constantly,” Hedberg said in a phone interview.

The teams’ next MCAL game will take place on Dec. 8 at Novato.