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The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

Defensive performance heads boys’ soccer 3-0 shutout of Notre Dame

Connor Tang
Striker Tyler Park ’25 hits a celebration after scoring the team’s third goal of the match. He was assisted by striker Theo Ottosson ’25.

In a show of strong defense and disciplined ball control, the boys’ soccer team picked up a 3-0 shutout victory against Notre Dame at home Jan. 17.

With scoring efforts led by strikers Theo Ottosson ’25 and Tyler Park ’25 — who had two and one, respectively — the squad was able to defeat the Knights for the second time this season, advancing to a league record of 7-0-1 and an overall record of 10-3-1.

The Wolverines secured possession of the ball for the majority of the match. The offense in the first half, despite not scoring, put pressure on Notre Dame’s defense. Midfielders Tyler Ullrich ’24 and Race Serota ’25 were able to facilitate the ball through defenders, where strikers Josh Barnavon ’24 and Micah Rossen ’25 had strong but misplaced touches on net.

A team defensive effort prevented Notre Dame from establishing themselves offensively. Their strikers tried to run a fast-paced offense, with only a few players up the field at a time. With help from defenders JT Federman ’24 and Sam Reiner ’25, goalie Jackson Friedman ’27 was able to secure possession and clear the ball before the Knights’ offense came close to the goal.

In one notable defensive play in the 34th minute, a Notre Dame striker in front of the goal received a pass out in front of him. At the same time as he tried to get his foot on the ball to score, Friedman came out of the goal, attempting to secure it in the box. He was unsuccessful, and as he collided with the Notre Dame striker, the ball was headed for the goal.

However, just as the ball was about to cross the goal line, Federman came from behind kicked it up at a 90° angle — barely missing his own goal, in a crucial clearance where he was the last line of defense. A score would’ve made it a 1-0 deficit.

 By the second half, the Wolverines’ offense picked up. After a long possession of passing and advancing up the field, defender Jack Letterman ’25 delivered a pass from the 35 yard line — to which Ottosson stopped on a first touch, and scored on in the 32nd minute.

Ottosson would score again in the 21st minute. This time on a counterattack, with a direct pass from striker Roen Beiley ’25 on his right, Ottosson scored again one-on-one with the goalie in a similar looking shot to his last, bringing the lead up to 2-0.

Both goals came from Ottosson’s position at the left wing. The goals, Ottosson said, were the result of a coaching adjustment that fitted his playstyle.

In the last score of the match, Tyler Park ’25, who had just checked into the game, found a cross pass from Ottosson in front of the goal, which he capitalized on to extend the lead to three. He had done a similar drill in practice, he said, and was thankful for his coaches for putting in a position to succeed.

“In practice, the coaches train us for these types of scenarios where there’s going to be a shot and a potential rebound,” Park said in a postgame interview. “Being able to practice capitalizing on those types of opportunities really helped me when my name was called up.

The team’s win over Notre Dame is the beginning of a second slate of Mission League games throughout the rest of January. Now having beat all teams except St. Francis — who they tied in a 2-2 shutout — they will continue with Sierra Canyon on the road Jan. 19.

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Connor Tang, Assistant News Editor

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