Falcons boys Varsity Soccer comes up short to Marin Academy’s Wildcats in Northern California State Championship final

Owen Benson (#24) celebrates after scoring the Falcon’s first goal of the game shortly after the beginning of the second half.

Courtesy of Marin Independent Journal

Owen Benson (#24) celebrates after scoring the Falcon’s first goal of the game shortly after the beginning of the second half.

The Falcons boys Varsity soccer, known also as the “Bleach Boys,” played in the California Interscholastic Federation Northern California State Championship (CIF-NCS) game Saturday, Mar. 5. After an exciting season, the Falcons came up short of the Northern California State Championship title in a 3-2 defeat against the Wildcats. The game was neck and neck, with both teams having many crucial plays to keep it close, forcing the game to a sudden-death 15 minute overtime.

“The boys [AWHS boys Varsity soccer team] played really well. [The game was] an unfortunate way to go out, but we tried our hardest,” said AWHS senior and team captain Zack Lillington.

The beginning of the game was fiercely contested, with the Falcons having around 11 shots on goal and the Wildcats seven. Referees called fouls and offsides on both teams, but provided neither of them a competitive advantage. Yet, with only two minutes left of the first half, Wildcat’s striker Malcom Zalayet scored the first goal of the game.

After halftime, the Falcons ran back onto the field, eager to tie the game. Within the first 20 minutes of the second half, Owen Benson scored by a header during a corner kick, tying the game 1-1.

Following the Falcon’s goal, Wildcat’s Tyler Huck scored, leaving AWHS players 10 minutes to score and take the game to overtime. With the championship title on the line, the Falcons attacked the opposing goal, taking as many shots as they could through a series of corner kicks. Eventually, Zack scored AWHS’s second goal of the game with less than two minutes remaining in the second half, pushing the match into a decisive sudden-death overtime.

Despite a strong performance by the Falcons, the Wildcats dominated possession in overtime. With about 10 minutes left in the 15 minute overtime, the Wildcats capitalized on an intercepted Falcon pass to score the game winning goal. The Falcons fell to the ground, petrified by a heartbreaking loss. Davis Logan, team captain and midfielder, is proud of how far his team came, despite the disheartening ending.

“I think everybody on the team improved tremendously. We had a tough MCAL run and this is obviously a sour ending, but we had a great season. We won NCS, and the boys should be proud of themselves,” said Davis.

After an exciting and exemplary season, the Falcons Boys Varsity soccer team finished their run against the Wildcats with a final record of 19-10-5.