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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

Boys’ soccer season ends with regionals loss to Torrey Pines High School

Eric Dearborn
Midfielder Cole Grossman ’25 looks to release for a ball in the CIF Southern Section semifinal against Orange Lutheran. He would score both the teams goals against Torrey Pines High School in the regional tournament Feb. 27.

The boys’ soccer season officially came to an end on Tuesday night when they lost 4-2 on the road against Torrey Pines High School in the first round of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Regional Tournament.

The team reached the semifinals of Division 1 Southern Section playoffs, beating San Marcos, Edison and Millikan, before eventually falling to Orange Lutheran in the semifinals 2-1.

A defensive breakdown two minutes into the game caused the team to start from a one-goal deficit. The Falcons began their first scoring drive at half near the left sideline, getting past two Wolverine defenders off a give-and-go pass. A Torrey Pines striker then struck a pass over the head of a defender to a wide-open teammate converging from the weak side, resulting in goalie Jackson Friedman ’27 being scored on one-on-one.

Friedman would be challenged on several more attempts from Torrey Pines. Throughout the rest of the first quarter, the boys’ offense did not find a rhythm, unable to connect on corner kicks and easily pressed out by defenders.

In the 35th minute, striker Theo Ottosson ’25 rallied the Wolverines’ offense, recovering a defensive ball and dribbling it down the field. As Ottosson came closer to the goal, he passed it ahead to striker Cole Grossman ’25, alone in front of the goal, who shot the ball crosscage past the goalie to tie the game at 1-1.

But just three minutes later, Torrey Pines quickly created a counterattack against the defense, where an open striker got open one-on-one with Friedman and scored. The Wolverines would leave the first 40 minutes of play down 2-1.

The boys would have their first shot attempt on goal two minutes into the half, off a 24-yard attempt from midfielder Tyler Ullrich ’24. It was a high-arcing shot with speed, headed for the upper right corner, but the goalie had enough time to react. The ball was blocked out of bounds, and the Wolverines were able to set up on a corner kick.

On the corner pass from defender JT Federman ’24, the ball was deflected off the head of an offensive player in the box to Grossman, who was open with a decent angle near the right of the goal. He proceeded to launch the ball into the upper netting, bringing the team back up to a tie game.


Throughout the second half, the teams exchanged scoring attempts, including several corner kicks for the Wolverines and an unsuccessful free kick in front of Friedman for Torrey Pines. The teams were tied with less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation.

In the 34th minute, a pass from Torrey Pines was skied over the midfield from the defensive end, resulting in a 50-50 ball between two players from each team. The ball then broke out towards the Wolverines’ goal, for a striker who chased the ball towards Friedman. The ball got past Friedman, however, defender Sam Reiner ’25 ran after the ball and headbutted it out of bounds.

The Wolverines wouldn’t be successful on the following corner kick for the Falcons, when a stray ball off the heads of a couple defenders landed in front of an open striker, who capitalized on the putback to put his team up 3-2 with five minutes remaining.

An overaggressive defense by Head Coach Michael Erush in an attempt to get a last minute goal would end poorly. In the 39th minute, Torrey Pines would seal their victory, on what seemed as an overshot pass to the other side of the field. The striker was getting ready to go back to defense, but somehow, the ball was dropped by Friedman, who came out to secure it. Torrey Pines was first to reach the loose ball, and kicked it in to easily to ensure the victory at 4-2.

To end the winter season, the Wolverines had an overall record of 18-6-1, with a league record of 12-1-1. They won back-to-back Mission League titles for the first time in school history, and surpassed expectations in CIF Southern Section Division 1 Playoffs, their first appearance in the division in recent years. They managed to defeat four opponents before losing in a second-overtime thriller to Orange Lutheran on the road, besting last year’s campaign in Division 4, which ended in a second-round exit.

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