Boys’ soccer takes conference title

Team takes down Benilde


Emma Kempf

Junior Fabio Leyva dribbles past a Benilde-St. Margaret’s player during the Oct. 5 game. Park won the game 2-0, putting the boys’ varsity team in first place in their conference.

Jenna Cook

When the final buzzer sounded at the conference-deciding game against Benilde St. Margaret’s Oct. 5, the team stormed the field to celebrate their win with an excited huddle.

According to varsity head coach Chato Alvarado, the win left the team’s record at 9-4-1 and secured the boys’ title as conference champions.

Junior Fabio Leyva said the team’s victory will boost their confidence entering the sections games.

“I feel like (our) team could beat any team in the state,” Leyva said. “If we work really hard, no one can stop us.”

Alvarado said he has seen improvement in the way the team played over the course of the season.

“I think the boys are starting to play a little better and controlling the ball a little better. We control the ball we control the game, we control the game we have a better chance to win,” Alvarado said.

Sophomore Thomas Salamzadeh said the victory meant a lot to the team, especially since the opposing team was a big rival.

“We came out there with a lot of heart and strength. We played really hard and did it for each other,” Salamzadeh said.

Salamzadeh said the team had observed Benilde’s strategies and accommodated their tactics to gain an upper hand.

“We worked on attacking down the sideline knowing that they would leave it open for us, so we were working on getting the ball down there and sending crosses in to score,” Salamzadeh said.

Leyva said the team’s ability to cross from the sidelines created most of their scoring opportunities, pressuring the opposing defenders and goalkeeper.

“We tested the goalkeeper a lot. We usually don’t take this many shots, but today I don’t know what happened,” Leyva said.

Park lost their non-conference game 0-6 against Washburn, and their next game against South high school will be at 7 p.m Oct. 12 at the stadium.