by Keona Evans
Point Loma High School’s varsity men's soccer had a wonderful season, performing incredibly in the playoffs, so much so that they went on to bring home the SoCal State Championship. This was already an extraordinary achievement in itself, but it was also monumental as it marked Point Loma’s first time in history reaching such a point.
Even though the team finished as champions, the season didn’t go as smoothly as it may seem. The team started the season already at a disadvantage due to the fact that a total of 17 players from the previous season were no longer available to the team. As the season began, the team realized that their whole dynamic needed repositioning and rethinking, a clean slate. It took time to build chemistry and adapt to one another’s skills. However, it was only a matter of time for the team to reach their potential and go on a fierce winning streak, and that’s exactly what they did.
The team’s eventual championship success began with their first league game and win against Cathedral Catholic High School, another team with championship aspirations. The team unfortunately had a rough month afterwards, but the team knew they would have to put up more of a fight to keep their season alive. This newfound mentality had the team training and practicing their hearts out.
In order to get into the playoffs, Coach Elliott Savitz shared their strategy. “If they could just get one win or a couple ties, they would be able to get a home game for playoffs and possibly a bye.”
The team managed to do just that and managed to pull through during key games, including an action-packed game against University City High which resulted in a tie.
As a result of all of their hard work, Point Loma finally reached the playoffs The team had an impressive start, with their first game being at home against Escondido High where they won by a large margin, 6-1. The next game was so emotional that Coach Savtiz shared, “That game was the happiest I had ever been with the performance of my team throughout my 12 years of coaching.” The game was against the rival Division 1 leading Coronado High School, who were without a doubt the most difficult opponent Point Loma had to face. Point Loma managed to keep the score even going into penalty kicks, where the underdog Pointers won the game. After that, the team was unstoppable winning game after game.
Point Loma’s last games were even broadcast live, including an impressive 2-0 win against the number one ranked team, Lancaster High, in the semifinals. Finally, the team reached the championship game after an incredible amount of hard work, emotions, and determination. To become champions, Point Loma had to defeat El Dorado High School. The game went back and forth, with no team showing signs of surrender. However, as the coaching staff said, “The team’s best skill was wearing teams down,” and that’s exactly what Point Loma did. They outlasted their opponent and emerged as SoCal State champions.
The season had a series of frustrating lows and ended on the highest of highs, but no good story follows a smooth path. As a team and as individuals, Point Loma men’s soccer kept their focus through extremely stressful and challenging times. Not only did they keep their composure, but they fiercely competed and showed their unbelievable strength, both mentally and physically. Support from fans, coaches, and most of all from each other fueled Point Loma’s motivation that led them to becoming who they dreamed to be: champions.