Boys soccer earned first place in the So Cal High School Classic Tournament against seven other teams from Dec. 27 to 30.
The So Cal Classic is an elite tournament, which brings together some of the top teams from Southern California. The Falcons competed in the national bracket, which is the most prestigious bracket.
Although the Falcons won silverware after winning all four of their games, they did have a slow start. The Falcons played against Harvard-Westlake School (Los Angeles) and were barely able to get a goal to clinch the win. The Falcons, “dominated ball possession but struggled to capitalize on chances” according to head coach Andy Hargreaves.
The Falcons picked up the pace as the tournament progressed and won their second match with ease. They went up against St. John Bosco High School (Bellflower), a slightly higher ranked team. The Falcons scored early and were able to stay in control of the game with a final score of 3-0.
The third game pitted the Falcons against El Toro High School (Lake Forest), the Division 1 champions the previous year.
“We had a few players who were sick throughout the tournament, which led some players to step up and make a difference,” Santiago Majewski (12) said.
Despite these disadvantages, the Falcons were able to maintain complete control of the game and dominate the field with a 5-0 wipeout.
“El Toro was Division 1 champion last year, so to win 5-0 was huge. Everything we hit flew into the net,” Hargreaves said.
The championship game was against Servite High School (Anaheim). Servite was ranked No. 1 in the nation after also having an undefeated run in the tournament.
The Falcons entered the match ranked second in the nation.
“Half of Servite’s roster was over 6 feet and their team was the most physical high school team we have played this year,” Hargreaves said.
The Falcons had stiff competition in Servite, but pulled out a victory with continuous counterattacks and tight defense. Majewski scored the Falcons’ first goal to put the team ahead 1-0. The match continued, tooth and nail, until Servite scored to tie at 1-1.
With two minutes left on the clock and the score still tied 1-1, Alec Philibbosian (11) scored on a six pass counterattack leading the Falcons to their victory over Servite.
“Being tied with only minutes to go in the game, we really wanted to put the game away in regular time, instead of going to overtime and having to play a hard 30 minutes against an offensive team,” Ted Merrifield (11) said.
According to Tyler Weinrich (12), the Falcons took this tournament as a great learning experience and strengthened the bond between the players.
“Everyone played as a brotherhood and a team” Tyler Weinrich (12) said.
The Falcons’ performance was enough to elevate the Falcons to the No. 1 high school soccer team in the nation.
“We hope we can continue our undefeated run through the season, win CIF and State,” Weinrich said.
Weinrich said that this year’s team may go down as the greatest soccer team that Torrey Pines has ever seen.