The OVS boys soccer squad showed a lot of heart Wednesday in its CIF playoff game against Vasquez High, losing 2-0 in a hard-fought contest on the road.
The match — the first-ever CIF playoff game for an OVS boys soccer team — showcased strong defensive efforts from juniors Gabe Weisiger and Andrew Thacher, as well as seniors Sebastian Wayman-Dalo and Corbin Muller.
Junior goalie and co-captain Adam Pepper-Macias had several great saves and was working hard for the entirety of the game, displaying his best performance of the season.
In fact, the game was 1-0 late into the contest, with Vasquez scoring a second security goal in the final minutes.
For seniors Corbin and Sebastian, this will be their last soccer game of their high school career. But for the rest of the team, they are ready to get back on the field next year.
“This year, we are a great team but we are young and squirrelly,” said Adam. “With another year of practice under our belts, we will see a very strong squad next year. I am very excited to see our progress next season.”
Led by new soccer coach Dave Andrews, the boys team had a phenomenal season, finishing second in Condor League play with a record of six wins and two losses.
This year’s team consisted of veteran players who have been with the OVS squad for years and a host of talented new young players, including freshmen Hyunung Choi and Dongkeon Kim, who led the team in scoring this season.
Senior defender Sebastian Wayman-Dalo, who has been part of the OVS soccer program since sophomore year, said he is excited that the team has earned a CIF berth.
“We have been a very good team in the past, but this year things just clicked and we made it through,” Sebastian said. “It feels fantastic. I always wanted a CIF patch and my chances have been dwindling, so finally saying I qualified for something is great.”
Several past OVS boys soccer teams have qualified for CIF berths over the years, but those teams have not gone to CIF because of scheduling issues and other conflicts, according to former longtime soccer coach and Upper Campus headmaster Carl Cooper. An OVS girls soccer team participated in CIF playoffs in the 1980s, Mr. Cooper recalled.
New head coach Dave Andrews expressed his strong confidence in his team as it approaches the playoffs, pointing to the maturation of his players during the season.
“The biggest challenge was to become one as a team; however, after acquiring that fundamental skill, the team performance improved significantly,” Coach Andrews said. “I know how much of a privilege it is [to qualify for CIF]. They earned that right and I’m proud of my soccer team.”
Staff writer James Choi contributed to this story.