By Brian Hernandez and Rafael Villalobos, Staff Writers
Verbum Dei soccer will face its former rival St. Anthony High School on December 21, 2018. Junior Varsity plays at 3:00 P.M. and varsity takes the field at 4:30 P.M. at Clark field, Saint Anthony’s home field at 4831 Clark Avenue, Long Beach, CA.
The Verbum Dei Eagles will compete against the Saints in preparation for their upcoming league games. Last season, St. Anthony moved to Division Six, which left the eagles in Division Seven. However, the Eagles expect to be sharing their pitch again, as Verb will be moving to the same division for the 2019-2020 season.
Until then, Verbum Dei still has unfinished business with St. Anthony after losing its first place position in the Santa Fe League to the Saints in the 2017-2018 season.
The SAHS contacted Verbum Dei to compete and to host the game of its former rival believing Verbum Dei’s teams are of the same caliber as its team.
In recent years, Verbum Dei has come up short when facing the Saints. However, last year the Eagles beat the Saints 3-0 their last league game together.
“St. Anthony’s have won three out of six league championships and have been to the playoffs the last seven years,” said Oscar Rosa, Head Soccer Coach. Despite the Saints outstanding record, Verbum Dei hopes to emerge triumphant.
“Coming back from a three game deficit in the past tournament, I am looking forward to facing our former rivals,” said Co-captain Ricardo Guevara. “Although they may not be in our league anymore that does not imply that they are any better than us. I am looking forward to this game and have faith in my players.”
“Like any other team, I hope that my team comes out on top of this classic rival game, especially since they aren’t in our league anymore,” said senior Anthony Valentin. “Since we will have our full squad I highly believe if we play as we have practiced, creating overlap runs and moving the ball side to side, we shouldn’t have a problem getting a W, but to do so, we will need to make sure we can finish our goal-scoring opportunities.”
“If our mentality is up to par and we focus, defeating St. Anthony will be something that will come naturally,” said Valentin.