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Boys’ Soccer defeats West Covina

Varsity boys’ soccer (2-3-2) defeated West Covina 6-0 Wednesday, Feb. 3 at home.

“After the last game against West Covina, they were missing a couple starters so we knew their strengths and weaknesses better. We worked more as a team and our communication was better. We would talk to other players and passed around more to tire them out,” forward sophomore Andrew Avila said.

Striker sophomore Emmanuel Lopez led the team with two points including an assist from left midfielder sophomore Jacob Gallegos. Goalie senior Ali Naeem blocked three attempts from West Covina.

Walnut started the first half on the offensive with a total of 12 attempts and five steals. West Covina followed behind with four attempts and four steals. As the game seemed to draw to a stalemate, Gallegos managed to score during the last five minutes of the first half, pushing Walnut ahead with a score of 1-0.

“We were playing so-so through the half and just trying to get through it. When I scored, it helped the team’s confidence and momentum,” Gallegos said. “I just tried to do my best to get the team motivated [and] do what was best for the team in the moment, and it worked out.”

Although briefly injured due to a foul by the Bulldogs, Lopez scored the first two points of the second half during the first few minutes of the game.

“After the first goal we started getting a rhythm going. We started touching a little bit faster [and] passing faster, and that led to the goals,” Lopez said. “It just woke me up, [and] I just felt it in myself to score.”

The Mustangs then proceeded to lead the rest of the game, with forward junior Bobby Tafoya, left back senior Simon Esquivel, and midfielder sophomore Alessandro Nova scoring three additional goals.

“A lot of our spirits were down since we lost to them last time, [but] our ball control and movement was better. And we were playing more on the offensive today,” left back senior Christopher Covarrubias said. “When we scored, we started to let our confidence push us and not let the other team intimidate us.”

The Mustangs will play Diamond Ranch next Friday, Feb. 5 at home.

By Amy Lo, Staff writer
Photo by Casey Lee