Last-minute goal pushes rival Loyola ahead of boys soccer on final regular season game

Luke Holthouse

Two goals from Matthew Gooden ’15 were not enough to spoil the perfect league record of Mission League rival Loyola or send the Wolverines into the playoffs on a winning note as the boys soccer team fell to the Cubs 3-2 before a crowd of Fanatics at Ted Slavin Field. Gooden scored twice off of free kicks, but Loyola was able to answer after both goals and ultimately snatched the win away from Harvard-Westlake with a third goal in stoppage time of the second half.

“I thought we played a very solid game,” Head Coach Lucas Bongarra said. “I thought we deserved something more. It didn’t feel like a loss.”

The Wolverines finish the regular season 9-10-2 overall and 6-4-2 in league, good enough for second place in league behind undefeated Loyola. The Cubs are 11-0-0 in league and have already clinched the title even with one game remaining on their regular season schedule. The last time a boys soccer team  at Harvard-Westlake won a league championship was in 1998.

The second place finish in league assures that the Wolverines will qualify for CIF playoffs, which begin on Wedneday, Feb. 13. The bracket will be released on Monday, Feb. 11.

“Looking forward to the playoffs, this definitely gets us ready,” Bongarra said. “We were hungry already, but after this game, we are going to be even hungrier.”