Boys soccer rockets to top early

Senior Tito Cruz intercepts Oceanside player to get the ball and go down to the opponents' goal post.

Omar Ortega

Senior Tito Cruz intercepts Oceanside player to get the ball and go down to the opponents’ goal post.

Zak Jones, Section Editor

Every sport experiences an experimental period before the league season begins. This may include scrimmages, inter-squad matches or tournaments meant to prepare athletes for the regular season. But Carlsbad’s boys soccer team used their recent tournament for much more than practice.

At the recent Coronado soccer tournament, Carlsbad worked its way up the brackets to face last year’s state champions, San Clemente. The team then shocked San Clemente by issuing them a 3-0 defeat and winning the tournament.

“We were in the highest division and beat the number one team in the state last year. It was great” junior Sam Oakes said.

Their stunning performance in the tournament also gained recognition statewide.

“After the tournament, the rankings came out and we were third in the state and tenth in the nation” Oakes said.

So what spawned this superior preseason ranking? The team credits their success to a history in brotherhood and camaraderie.

“We’ve been together for a long time and a few of us were varsity every year” Juan Tovar said.

Tovar along with Oakes and senior captain Ruben Gonzalez jumped straight to varsity their freshmen year, fostering an inseparable bonds and a strong understanding of each others’ playing style.

Now, the team must translate their early success into league ranking in order to advance up the ranks and prove themselves third in the state. The team tasted the league season against their game against Oceanside on Wednesday.

“We’re pretty confident going against Oceanside, but we’re not going to take today lightly,” Gonzalez said.

The game yielded surprising results, with the unranked Oceanside boys tying Carlsbad 1-1 and adding to the team’s doubt of their preseason ranking.

But the Oceanside match was just a grain of sand to the Carlsbad boys. Naysayers may claim that the tournament was the anomaly, but the soccer team wants to prove the tie as irregular and remain tenth in the nation.