When the referee’s whistle finally shrilled to signify the end of Tuesday's game, the Windward School boys soccer team celebrated--and with good reason.
The Wildcats managed to survive a barrage of shots in the second half to escape with a 1-0 Alpha League victory over a bigger Brentwood team.
It took a spirited effort for the full 80 minutes for Windward, ranked No. 4 in the latest CIF Southern Section Division 6 poll, to upset the No. 1 Eagles.
“I thought my team was heroic,” Windward head coach Nick Webster said. “They always give us a good game. They’re very well-organized, they’re very powerful, very disciplined on set pieces, and we had to defend with a lot of courage, a lot of heart.”
The victory pushed Windward to 9-4-2 overall and 7-0-1 in the Alpha League, with its sole tie coming in its previous game with Brentwood. The Eagles dropped to 9-3-4 overall, 4-1-2 in league.
The Wildcats opened the game strong on their home turf, controlling play in the first half and generating more scoring chances. In the 25th minute, sophomore right midfielder Dylan Kelley knocked in what proved to be the game's only goal.
Brentwood made adjustments and began to dominate play in the second half as Windward was forced to rely more on its defense. In the 57th minute the Eagles almost scored when Greg Oliva got past Windward goalkeeper Noah Landry, but the Wildcats’ Devin Jameson kicked the ball away. Off the ensuing corner throw-in, a line-drive kick hit the crossbar.
Brentwood nearly converted on two corner kicks in the 66th and 67th minutes.
“We created a lot of chances," Brentood head coach Rod Lafaurie said. "I’ll be happy every game from this point forward, creating that many chances – it’s just a matter of finishing them. You know soccer. Sometimes you just create more chances and they don’t go in. It was just a little bit unlucky at times. They cleared a few off the line and a few posts.”
Freshman goalkeeper Noah Landry came through time and time again for the Wildcats, despite suffering a headache from a collision early in the second half. He made about six saves, some in the final moments of the game, including one where he pushed a shot over the crossbar.
“They really didn’t show like they wanted it early as much as we did," Landry said. "As our coach said, we had more belief. I think we played much more as a team, they played more as individuals.”
Windward finished with eight shots on goal, while Lafaurie estimates his team had about 15 shots on goal, but noted: “Soccer’s about the final score, not the shots on goal.”
Windward’s girls soccer team lost a pair of games, falling 2-1 to Brentwood on Tuesday and 1-0 to the California Academy of Math & Science on Wednesday. The Wildcats are now 11-5-2 overall and 1-4-1 Alpha league.
Windward midfielder Katie Adler knocked in a goal to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead until the 57th minute at Brentwood, but Eagles junior Carly Shagrin scored the tying goal off a rebound on a free kick hen tallied the winner in the 65th minute. Brentwood improved to 14-1-2, 4-0-0.
The Lady Wildcats routed Brentwood 72-28 for their eighth victory in a row, boosting their record to 17-4 overall, 7-0 in league. Head coach Steve Smith pulled all of his starters in the fourth quarter.
Junior center Imani Stafford, who led Windward with 23 points and 10 rebounds, said the Wildcats were “playing against ourselves” during the game because they were already looking ahead to Friday’s and Saturday’s nonleague games, which are expected to be Windward’s biggest challenges in some time.
Of Friday’s opponent, Sierra Canyon (ranked No. 6 in the CIF Southern Section Division 4AA poll), Stafford said: “We’re athletic, but they play hard the whole time. And they give us a run for our money.”
Saturday’s game matches Windward, currently No. 1 in the division, face off against No. 2 Bishop Montgomery. “We’re playing for our seed right now,” Stafford said.
Courtney Jaco and Jordin Canada added 12 and 10 points for Windward, respectively, and Kristen Simon had 10 rebounds against Brentwood. Drew Cabral led the Eagles (8-11, 1-6) with 12 points.
The Windward boys team (16-6, 7-0), ranked No.2 in their division, also blew out Brentwood, 77-36, Tuesday night at home. The Wildcats were led by Nick Stover and Luke Silverman-lloyd, who each scored 20 points. The team finished with nine three-pointers, six of which came from Silverman-Lloyd alone.
Windward head coach Miguel Villegas noted that his players hit several of those three-pointers in the first half: “When you hit that many three-pointers in a game, that gives you big cushion. We got off to a big start, so that was a big difference for tonight’s game.”
The Eagles were playing without one of the their best players, injured sophomore center Leland King. Wesley Saunders had 12 points and eight rebounds and Jordan Wilson added 12 points for Windward.