For some high school soccer squads, a loss can be written off as just an off day. But for a team with playoff and section championship aspirations like the Davis High boys, there’s no tolerance for “this just isn’t our day.”
On Monday, the Blue Devils possessed the ball for the larger portion of the game and even played good defense for long stretches, but visiting Marin Academy took advantage of several lapses to win 3-1 at Yudin Field.
“We are trying to get ready for league and sections and we can’t click on and click off like that,” DHS coach Alex Park said. “The team that is going to win sections is the one that is going to be consistent.
“That’s part of preseason; we are getting better and gaining experiences. But we came off of a big win at Capital Christian and to have this happen is a setback.”
The Devils (5-2-2) came into Monday’s outing rested after being off since a 1-0 victory at Capital Christian last Tuesday. That freshness showed in the early going Monday as the locals had the ball in Wildcat territory for nearly all of the first 20 minutes.
However, in what would become one of the themes of the day, Marin Academy got a rare chance to score and Noah Paravicini put it away. The goal came on one of just three Wildcats shots in the first half.
“We all made a lot of mistakes this game, especially defensively,” said Davis senior defender Rami Rashmawi. “We would have a defensive plan that we kept executing over and over again and then one time, one situation would throw us out of our momentum. And they capitalized on every single one of their chances.”
Despite trailing 1-0, the Blue Devils continued to put pressure on through the rest of the first period, eventually tying the game just minutes before halftime. Sophomore Isaiah Alba got the equalizer, sending a shot out of a crowd at the top of the box.
But rather than exploding into the second half looking for the lead, DHS spent the period playing passively.
“We had this game when we tied it up 1-1 at halftime,” Rashmawi said. “We were dominating the game and then we just stopped playing … we turned off when we should have turned on. ”
Even without their usual fire, the Devils got by on their defensive skill for 23 minutes — until Wildcat Theo Ubben put in the go-ahead goal.
Just over five minutes later, Dexter Eichhorst scored the goal that broke Davis’ back.
“When they put that second goal away, we dropped so much that they got that third goal from lack of attention. So that’s 3-1 and that’s hard to come back from,” Park said.
Though the Blue Devils had a few more offensive charges, eventually outshooting Marin Academy 14-9, they couldn’t find the net again. For most of the game, DHS was missing that pep in its step.
“The reason we lost this game is that we didn’t have the heart we usually have,” Rashmawi said. “We usually come out like every game is our last and (Monday) we didn’t do it. It wasn’t lack of skill; we were the better team. We should have won this, we just didn’t finish it out.
“We know what we need to do, we just need to come out hard. We need to come out every single game like it’s the Jesuit game. It’s a fixable mistake, but it’s a mistake that no coach can coach to turn it on. We as a team need to turn it on.”
While it isn’t quite a matchup with the Marauders — that game comes Oct. 12 on the road — Davis shouldn’t have much trouble getting pumped for its next outing, a Friday match at Granite Bay. Facing another regional power in the Grizzlies, and coming off of a rare loss, Park expects his team to be ready to go.
— Reach Chris Saur at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-747-8049.