Leia Gluckman staff writer
Violent kicks and vicious punches from either side did not diminish the efforts made by the boys varsity soccer team in their loss 3-4 against El Segundo Eagles at one of their last home games of the season on Jan. 29.
The dark and otherwise tranquil night was disrupted by the large, white fluorescent lights shining over the field. Teammates on the sidelines shouted words of encouragement and direction at players on the field while the Normans scrambled to score another point before half-time arrived. Forward and mid-field sophomore Giulian Laudisa and team captain and mid-field junior Justin Heravi both scored goals in the first half of the game. Forward and defense junior Michael Rabizadeh scored one goal in the second half.
At the end of the first half of the game, the crowd erupted as Heravi made his way toward the net scoring the Normans’ second point. Still falling behind, the players remained focused while the fans in the stands kept their spirits high and cheered as they headed into the final half of the game.
With their heads hanging, the players sluggishly headed into the last five minutes of the game, managing to pull a final goal before locking in El Segundo’s win.
“The team was incredibly valiant and had a tremendous amount of courage,” coach Rodrigo Donoso said. “They ran into a big, strong team and the game got physical, but I thought they were up to the challenge.”
Disappointed by the loss, Heravi felt like the team “got a little scammed by the refs. Other than that it was a good effort.”
Despite their staggered wins (2 – 4) throughout the season, sophomore Alex Manavi feels that they are “playing a lot more as a team this year” and have been improving throughout the season.
“I think there’s always a challenge going [through] three coaches in three years,” Heravi said. “Each player gets used to something and then we’ve got to switch it up again. [Playing with a] completely different [coach], and we’ve been playing a lot more slow and methodical.”
Even though the team lost, they continue to work toward improvement.
“I’m proud of them,” Donoso said. “They played with an effort. They played a good, hard game. There are things we have to work on here, but definitely not their effort.”