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Triumphant Finish: Panthers Seal 2023 with a Resounding 3-2 Victory Over Marin Catholic
Panther Spotlight: Soccer

The Men's Soccer team concluded non-league play for the 2023 calendar year with an impressive 3-2 victory against Marin Catholic this past Thursday.

From the outset, the Panthers asserted their dominance by controlling possession in the middle of the park with a midfield trio of Robert S. ’24, Vule R. ’24, and Gui G. ’27. The team took an early lead in the 10th minute when the Brazilian freshman Gui unleashed a remarkable long-distance strike, setting the tone for the match.

While the first half was closely contested, the Panthers maintained their composure and ended the first half with a 1-0 lead. The beginning of the second half saw the Panthers dominating possession again, but a momentary lapse in concentration led to Marin Catholic seizing an opportunity. A turnover in midfield resulted in a shot from outside the box, with Griffin G. ’25 producing a stellar save, sprawling out to deny the Wildcats. However, the Panthers conceded a goal from the ensuing in-swinging corner, which pinballed around before ending up in the back of the net.

Despite conceding an unfortunate corner-kick goal, the Panthers remained calm and stuck to their principles of playing attractive soccer. They responded with flair. In the 55th minute, Gui once again unleashed a powerful shot from 25 yards, giving us a 2-1 lead. The Panthers kept their foot on the gas, and Gui found himself in the right wide channel in a one-v-one against their left back. Gui megged him and dribbled into the right side of the 18-yard box, before cutting the ball back to Bobby, who took a touch and smashed the ball low and through the keeper's legs to make the game 3-1.

Credit is due to Marin Catholic for not giving up. They made some tactical changes and caught us in transition to score a goal in the 78th minute, setting up what could have been a stunning comeback. However, the Panthers played smart and saw out the match by maintaining control of the ball in Marin Catholic's half of the field. 

Coach T took a moment to reflect on the team’s performance, offering insights into their growth and determination. “First and foremost, I’m incredibly proud of how the team responded after a humbling loss against Branson last week. The men grew closer together in the face of adversity and worked hard all week to ensure they learned from their mistakes while preparing for MC. They demonstrated a capacity to learn and apply themselves to achieve our goals for the season. This is another good step in the right direction for the men's program and a performance that we can refer back to when faced with similar situations during the regular season.”

The men’s team will continue practicing throughout the holiday break and will be ready for league action to begin away from home on January 5 against University High School.