By Uriel Molina, Staff Writer
After suffering two losses against its league rival St. Pius X St. Matthias, the Verbum Dei varsity soccer team will continue its strong season as they ready for the second matchup of the season against Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary High School at 12:00 P.M. on Saturday, January 26 at CSHMHS, 329 North Garfield Avenue, Montebello.
The last matchup against Cantwell was Verb’s soccer season opener. As the Eagles finished that game with a 4-1 win, the squad expects a similar result for the upcoming matchup.
“It is predicted to be an easy game, but we cannot enter the game too confident,” said senior varsity forward Francisco Padilla.
Apart from winning the league, the Verbum Dei Eagles are dedicating the next few games as practice for the playoffs. They are preparing both mentally and physically for the CIF Division 6 Playoffs while finishing off the rest of the scheduled league games.
“Although we did not reach our goal of winning first place in our league, we must now focus our attention on winning these next couple games in order to prepare for the playoffs,” said Ricardo Guevara, senior varsity soccer midfielder and co-captain.
The game is an important matchup for the Eagle season, as it will determine a solid position at a 2nd place in the Division 7 league with a tie or win from the Eagles. However, there is one challenge to the team’s matchup against Cantwell: the Verbum Dei varsity soccer team will be playing a game against St. Bernard High School at home the day prior.
“The only issue here is that we will be playing back-to-back games in less than 24 hours and our players will be tired,” said Oscar Rosa, varsity soccer coach. “The varsity team has lost some players due to injuries over the season, and two games back to back could cause more injuries. Fatigue may be an issue,” said Rosa.
Putting aside all the issues that could occur on Saturday’s game, the Verbum Dei varsity soccer team is entering the game with a winning mentality.
“If we play our game, we should have no problem beating them,” predicted Rosa.