Boys’ varsity soccer finishes with a nail-biting tie against Terra Linda

PJ Pfeiffer

Blocking their eyes from the glaring sun, the Redwood boys’ varsity soccer team readied themselves to host the Terra Linda Trojans on Wednesday, Jan. 29. The Giants (7-3-2) went into the matchup as underdogs against the Trojans (10-1-2). The teams ended up tying, keeping the Trojans in first place in the Marin County Athletic League (MCAL), but hurting the Giants as they continue fighting to stay in the top four in MCALs to make playoffs.

Running past a Terra Linda defender, junior Ethan Kahn dribbles to help create a shot attempt.

After senior Alex Johnson placed a finesse shot in the lower corner of the net in the fourth minute of the game, the Giants held the lead for most of the match. Throughout the game, Redwood had many opportunities to score, and even had multiple shots on target, but were unable to capitalize on the opportunities, resulting in a scoreless final eighty-six minutes of play. Senior Alexander Nilsson, who has been on the varsity team for two years, thought the team was able to connect with each other offensively, which helped push the ball down the field, despite the lack of goals. However, the main reason for their tie was their inability to finish their shots. 

“We just need to finish our chances in the [attacking] third, which ended up [prompting our tie],” Nilsson said.

Senior Captain Stanley Gaither, who has played on the varsity team since sophomore year, said the Giants should have scored more because of the number of opportunities they had in the game.

 “[In the] first half, we came out flying. We outplayed them in the first half and had a bunch of chances [to score] the whole game, but we didn’t put the shots away, which ended up not giving us a big lead,” Gaither said.

Photo by PJ Pfeiffer
Senior Stanley Gaither dribbles the ball in the attacking third, hoping to score in the final minutes of the match.

Because the team did not finish their shots, Terra Linda was right behind the Giants the whole game. Halfway through the second half, the Trojans scored on a chaotic play. After many blunders involving bad passing and not clearing the ball by the Giants’ defense, the Trojans had a few uncontested shots only a few yards away from the goal. On one such shot, Terra Linda junior Jason Hsu easily put the ball away in the bottom corner, similar to Johnson’s earlier goal. After the game-tying goal, the game became even more intense, with both teams fighting to score just one more lucrative goal. However, neither team put the ball in the net, which did not help either team in terms of the MCAL standings.

Although the team did not win, Coach David Siracusa is hopeful for the rest of the season.

“At the end of the day, we want to win and be 1-0 on the day. Even though we didn’t win, I look forward to the rest of the season,” Siracusa said.

Even though the Giants tied, the season is not over for them yet. They still have two games left, and, according to Gaither, they are taking each of those games one game at a time.

“Our main goal is to go 1-0 in the day, to shut out the team and to get that win. We just have to win every game,” Gaither said.

Photo by PJ Pfeiffer
Laying on the pitch, goalie Jorge deLeon is visibly upset after giving up a goal.

In a critical game on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 1 p.m., the Giants will host the San Rafael Bulldogs, who are one place behind the Giants in the MCAL standings.