Boys soccer wins historic league title


Printed with permission of Salil Mehta

Josh Barnavon ’24 prepares for a cross to a teammate during the team’s 3-0 victory against Alemany High School.

Christopher Mo

The boys soccer team finished the regular season undefeated, winning their first Mission League title since 1998. The team clinched the championship with a 2-0 victory against Chaminade on Jan. 30, then beat league rival Loyola 2-0 on senior night Feb. 1.

Center Attacking Midfielder Tyler Ullrich ’24 said despite the team’s successful season so far, they look forward to strong performances in the playoffs.

“Although I am very happy about winning Mission League and beating our rival Loyola, our team still has a lot to prove in CIF,” Ullrich said.

Last season, the team finished with an overall record of 10-7-5 and fell short in their second match of the CIF Southern Section playoffs against Lynwood High School. This year, the team ended the regular season in first place with a league record of 12-0-1 while holding an overall record of 19-0-1.

Boys Soccer Program Head Michael Erush said that the team’s determination to succeed has driven them to work hard both on and off the field.

“This season’s success comes from the commitment from the group in the last 2-3 years,” Erush said. “The boys really wanted to be successful and we discussed the process of what it would take to be successful. Sports performance, training environments and the way they approach each game has been one of many reasons they have been successful.”

Erush also said the team’s competitive mentality has sustained them throughout the long season.

“The team has a relentless attitude on and off the field,” Erush said. “They love to compete and challenge themselves with different personal and team goals. This year we have a great backline by only giving up 4 goals in 20 games and scoring over 50 goals. It’s a well-balanced team and I want to see the boys succeed and compete for championships every year.”

Defender JT Federman ’24 said the team’s expectations going into playoffs have not changed since the start of the season.

“With our undefeated record still intact, we know we have a target on our back, but we use this as motivation to continue winning,” Federman said. “We set high goals at the beginning of the season and hold high standards as a strong program, and those goals and standards will not change no matter our record. Now as we get ready for CIF, we all understand that each game is win or go home, so it’s important that we remain focused and confident going into each game we play.”

Federman also said the team built a strong chemistry that has been a major success factor throughout the season.

“The main key to the success our team has had this year can be attributed to the sense of ‘family’ that we have built within our program,” Federman said. “Everybody from the freshmen to the seniors is extremely close with each other, and we are all really enjoying this season while working hard each day to continue to succeed.”

The team will begin its CIF -SS Division 4 playoffs Feb. 9 against Buena High School.