Boys Soccer hopes to win CIF for first time

EYES+ON+THE+PRIZE%3A+Attacker+Josh+Barnavon+%E2%80%9924+attempts+a+goal+versus+Palos+Verdes+High+School+in+a+preseason+game+Dec.+2.+The+school+won+versus+Palos+Verdes+3-0%2C+its+second+win+this+season.+The+team%E2%80%99s+first+league+game+will+be+at+home+versus+St.+Francis+on+Dec.+14.

EYES ON THE PRIZE: Attacker Josh Barnavon ’24 attempts a goal versus Palos Verdes High School in a preseason game Dec. 2. The school won versus Palos Verdes 3-0, its second win this season. The team’s first league game will be at home versus St. Francis on Dec. 14.

Alex Dinh

The boys soccer team began its season 3-0 in non-league play, defeating Palos Verdes High School 2-0, Calabasas High School 1-0 and Camarillo High School 4-1. The team plays its first league match at home against St. Francis Wednesday on Dec. 14.

In the game against Calabasas, Defender Asher Rossen ’23 scored the winning goal off a cross in the 82nd minute. Rossen said it felt great to score after the team had held Calabasas scoreless the entire match.

“It felt great to finally get that goal because we had been grinding and putting in the hard work throughout the game,” Rossen said. “Just to finally capitalize on all of it with the goal was great.”

Boys Soccer Program Head Michael Erush said the team has been very dedicated in practice and is working hard to improve going forward.

“Throughout the preseason, and early on, I’ve been excited by the commitment to the program that [the team] has shown,” Erush said. “They’re committed and the culture has changed to a blue-collar approach where they want to be the hardest working team in the league.”

Last season, the team lost to Lynwood High School 2-0 in the second round of CIF Southern Section Division II Playoffs. Attacker Theo Ottosson ’25 said the team is looking to make a deeper playoff run this year. 

“I’m really excited about how talented our group is and how far I think we can go this year,” Ottosson said. “We fell short last year, and we have a group that really wants it and remembers what it felt like not to have it last year.”

Ottosson said he is looking forward to having a bigger role on the team this season after he spent last year learning from more experienced players. 

“Last year I had a more of a backseat role; I was really just learning from better and older players,” Ottosson said. “But this year I’ve been thrust into a starting role, and I definitely feel more responsibility to perform, especially to my coaches who put their trust in me and my teammates who respect me.”

The team has not won the Mission League since 1998 and has never won a CIF Southern Section Championship in the history of the program. Defender and Captain JT Federman ’24 said he feels the team is strong enough to achieve their goals.

“The team is coming into the season with the goal of winning the Mission League for the first time in 20 [plus] years as well as winning CIF for the first time in program history,” Federman said. “While these may be the goals  [of the team] heading into every season, I truly believe more than I have in past years that this is the year our program is going to make history.”

Federman said he feels special responsibility as captain this season, but everyone on the team will need to play well for the team to succeed.

“As one captain of the team, my role on this team is to be the guy that people can consistently rely on to perform and lead the team throughout each game of the season,” Federman said. “At the same time, the success of our team doesn’t depend upon the leadership of only two or three guys. Everyone on the roster will need to contribute and lead both on and off the field to help the team be successful this season.”