Team also celebrated Senior Day with lone senior and Captain, Sebastian Montenegro (#23)
By Sydney Mountain
On Saturday, October 16th, the FTC Men’s Soccer team faced off against Berkeley-NJ. Coming into this game, both teams were ranked nationally in the USCAA, Berkeley being #1 and FTC being #2 in the country. After another physical and aggressive competition, the Sound came out on top, scoring three goals to Berkeley’s two goals.
A defensive stop and take away set up the first goal. Center midfielder Andre Hickling took the ball away from the Knights and sent Angel Chavez on the run. Chavez chased down the ball and chipped it right over the goalkeeper’s gloves to put the Sound up 1-0 over the Knights.
"It gave us a lot of motivation, you know, scoring pretty early again. It really sets the tone for the game, and we got the result that we wanted." Chavez said. He had three shots on goal Saturday afternoon, and two of them went in. Just after the 25th-minute mark, forward Joel Funez blocked a shot, then right midfielder James Habert headed the ball back into the box to set up Chavez for a beautiful header into the back of the goal. The Sound was now up on the Knights 2-0.
The scoring didn’t stop, and it was still only the first half. Around the 39th minute, the Sound went on the attack again. Anthony Campos carried the ball down the left side of the field and crossed it right outside the 18-yard box. Joel Funez tracked it down and found a wide-open pass to Kevin Cuatlacuatl, who then rocketed the ball past the goalkeeper, and the score was now 3-0.
The first half may have been an offensive game, but the defense for the Sound had to step up in the second half. The Knights had finally snuck a goal into the net around the 50th-minute mark, and again at the 68th-minute mark. The score was now 3-2, and the Sound were fighting hard to remain on top. Defender Andy Alfonso said he didn’t feel any pressure coming into this game, and he knew his team was #1 worthy and would come out on top.
"I didn’t think they would be able to get another one cause after those two; we fought even harder to finish the game." Alfonso is a part of the backline who usually controls the tempo of the game for the Sound. Many of their attacks start from passes from their backline.
After many hard-fought minutes, the final buzzer rang, and the FTC Men’s Soccer team had defeated the division’s #1 team in the country. When asked about what’s next, both Chavez and Alfonso had mentioned a ring. The team is one step closer to winning the Conference Championship and making a run to Nationals.
The team’s next game is away on Wednesday, October 20th, at 6 pm against King’s College at Randall Field.