The Cubs epitomized shock and awe in a dramatic division one semi-final match against Mission Viejo High School.
Facing quick and skilled MV forwards, Loyola’s back four lays the foundation to a strong start. The Cubs make multiple attacks early on, but in many of their attempts, they face MV’s strategic counters. With composure, midfield vets Liam Hook, Will Valentine, and Erric Arreola regain possessions and dictate course of action. Coach Walter subs in junior forwards Nate Smith-Hastie and Jake Rodgers to fuel a momentous offensive attack. Jake Rodgers finds a breakaway opportunity one-on-one, Rodgers and the keeper. But to the crowds surprise the MV keeper fails to recognize he’s outside the box and goes for the ball at Rodgers’ feet. The red card violation was given to Viejo’s starting keeper and they’re left with ten. To take advantage of the missing man, the Cubs press forward. Spencer Roberts connects with a soft touch, keeps it simple, and takes a low hanging shot in bottom left corner. GOAL! 1-0 Cubs.
Setting aside their excitement, the Cubs enter the second with humility and hunger for another. On both ends of the pitch, Mission Viejo challenges the Cubs relentlessly. On a corner kick opportunity, MV kicks a dangerous ball into the Loyola box. But sophomore keeper Zach Discroll is there, communicates effectively with his ten upfront and leaps for the save. Moving upfield with momentum, Grayson Doody gets the ball from the center-right side. Doody fires a shot and gets a second for the Cubs. (2-0). In the final minutes, Liam Hook secures the win for Loyola with a third goal (3-0).
This weekend the Cubs will battle Servite High School who they tied with earlier in the season (2-2). This match may be the greatest challenge the Cubs have faced this season, but using anxiety as an advantage, keeping composure, and pouring their hearts onto the field, the Cubs hope to reap the reward. Come out and support the Cubs! Be there.