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MS soccer competes at ASIJ on Saturday

The middle school soccer teams traveled to ASIJ on Saturday for a trio of games against the rival Mustangs. The A Team lost 3-0, the B Team lost against ASIJ’s B Team 5-0 and then the B Team beat ASIJ’s C Team 6-3.

A Team coach Keesh Kawaguchi expressed the following thoughts on his squad’s performance:

“Our defense continues to impress, with the remarkable growth of this unit made up of goalie Joel, Joe, Sejin, Woojin, Hikaru and Junhyun is uncanny. They are going to be smart players in years to come, I believe.

Our offense had some great opportunities during this game but was not able to capitalize on them. One thing I keep emphasizing to them is that soccer is not a game of reaction; it is a game of anticipation. You can tell a lot about what the ball carrier will do next by looking at his or her body angle and momentum.

I think our offense has not grasped that yet, and it is my next challenge to help them understand this. It’s quite a challenge because they are the ones being constantly analyzed by the opposing defenses instead of them doing the analysis; a lot of self-awareness is required.

Our defense, on the other hand, has been phenomenal because they have started to understand this concept. Simply containing the opposing ball carrier instead of stabbing at the ball is a subtle yet very critical element of soccer discipline that players at an early age ought to master. Our defenders are definitely getting this.

It is great progress, and I am excited for them."

B Team coach Charles Smoker recounted the Knights' game against ASIJ's B Team:

"We weren’t concentrating well in warmups, and it showed immediately as ASIJ scored 90 seconds after kickoff. That first goal woke us up and we controlled the flow of the game for the next 20 minutes. In fact, we had several good opportunities to score, but couldn’t convert.

We came out strong in the second half, but ASIJ kept knocking at our door and finally wore down our D and scored. That took away our momentum and we let in a few more goals to lose 5-0. It was a much better effort than our last game versus ASIJ we improved in so many aspects, but nonetheless it ended in a loss.

We are very thankful to God for giving us the opportunity to play the game we like, growing together as a team and each of our teammates."

Smoker also lauded CAJ's ability to pull away from the Mustangs' C Team by scoring five goals after halftime despite only having 30 minutes of rest between games.

The B Team got four goals from Eastin against ASIJ's C Team, along with one each from Ronald and Jay to go with an assist for Christopher.

The B Team's season is now done. Their season ended with a 4-3-1 record, including a 2-3-1 mark against other B Teams. The A Team is currently 0-7-0 and has one more league game on Tuesday afternoon at home against Aoba before Saturday's A Team Tournament at ASIJ.

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