Candice Anvari staff writer
While the Centaurs are in Division 2 and the Normans are in Division 4, the Centaurs are one of the team’s biggest rivals. Despite losing to the Centaurs, the Normans put up a competitive fight until the end of the match.
During the first half, both teams were not able to score due to the constant blocks and steals. Then, during the final five minutes of the first half, Culver scored on a penalty kick, giving them the advantage. Both teams were unable to score during the second half as a result of the defense’s persistent goal prevention.
Head coach Ryan Franks believed the Normans incorporated their energy from Senior Day into their match against the Centaurs.
“We used the excitement and energy of Senior Day, and we came out and played with a lot of energy. We pressured them, so we didn’t give Culver City a lot of time to make decisions with the ball,” Franks said. “We got unlucky, but I’m really proud of the team.”
Franks believed the team could’ve made more dynamic passes and they could’ve struck closer to the goal. Striker freshman Rena Nassirzadeh believed the Normans faulted in fouling “a few times” in the penalty box, but she was still proud of her team for their hard work.
“I think we played very well, but Culver got lucky. I still think we were the better team overall,” Nassirzadeh said.
Aside from the loss, the Normans will attend playoffs as a result of their hard work throughout this season.
“We did everything we needed to do. Although we lost today, I’m really proud of the team and we’re still going to playoffs, so we should hold our heads high and be very proud,” Franks said.
The Normans’ first playoff game will be on Tuesday, Feb. 10 at home against the Glendale Nitros (7-6-4).