Mayfair v. La Mirada: Kept you on the edge
On February 1, Mayfair High School’s boys varsity soccer team went up against their top rival, La Mirada. The demeanor between Mayfair and La Mirada has been an extremely intense rivalry for decades, with every sporting event against the team being highly anticipated. After their previous loss to Norwalk, this resulted in high expectations and drive going into the boys’ final game of the season.
To start off the game, Mayfair started extremely strong, the energy was high and every player was putting in their best effort. After the first attempt of a goal made by junior Samuel Chukwurah, La Mirada increased their offensive tactics and were highly communicative. The opposing team heavily bombarded Mayfair’s defense, forcing the boys to continue to keep energy and defend to the best of their ability. After senior goalie Everardo Morales denied goal attempts by La Mirada, the team successfully got past the goalie and scored, giving La Mirada the lead 1-0.
Mayfair’s coaches on the sidelines critiqued their team’s lack of communication and trend that certain players are feeding into “no man’s land,” resulting in poor organization of where players are on the field. Mayfair began to take La Mirada’s overwhelming offense and do anything to defend the goal even if that meant players being in the wrong place. Coach Headley recognized this and subbed four players halfway through the first half. Seniors Matthew Ridgers and Adrian Castillo played an impressive defense, and ended up pushing La Mirada out, turning into offensive mode. Senior Kameron Johnson shot directly into the goal, successfully gaining Mayfair’s first point, tying up the score. Following the goal, Johnson did a celebratory flip, reimbursing any energy or hype towards the game that was potentially lost.
After this point in the game, Mayfair continued their offensive plays, regaining their drive to win this game. Johnson attempted to gain two more goals, the only thing stopping him was La Mirada’s management to defend. In addition, senior team captain Gerson Rivera Zavala got extremely close to giving Mayfair one more point with a strong headbutt to the ball, however, La Mirada’s goalie caught the attempt, finishing off the first half with a tied score of 1-1.
With the reflection of the break in between halves, the team had goals to be better than La Mirada’s defense and place themselves in better spots on the field to drive more success in the second half. With a spark of inspiration and drive, Mayfair took over La Mirada’s defense, and improved their offensive strategies immensely, starting off with a strong attempt at a goal made by sophomore Adoniayah Aemiro. After the failed goal, Mayfair continued to overwhelm La Mirada’s defense, and Aemiro started another attempted goal by passing the ball to junior Jaiden Calderon, who just slightly missed the goal. The two failed goals brought the boys’ motivation down, while La Mirada came back stronger and nearly made a goal without player junior Omar Mercado kicking the ball out of field, giving Mayfair another chance to defend. Because of the second chance, Mayfair had another opportunity to make a goal by Aemiro passing the ball to senior Joey Mondragon, who later missed his attempt.
La Mirada continued to see that Mayfair was getting too close to scoring, and pushed themselves to get back to their energy they had played in the first half. This took Mayfair by surprise, which resulted in a messy defense, causing La Mirada to score once more. For the rest of the second half, the two teams went back and forth on the offensive. La Mirada’s defense made sure not to let Mayfair get the chance to score again, tying the rivals for a second time. After a numerous and strong fight by Mayfair to make another shot, time ran out, leaving the score 2-1, giving La Mirada the victory.
From the perspective of senior goalie Everardo Morales, he shared that he feels “upset” remembering that all of the memories he has made while playing soccer from when he was five years old, to all four years of high school, will now only be memories. The senior is hoping to gain a professional contract after attending and playing soccer for Cypress College. Also a senior, Matthew Ridgers reveals that he has been playing soccer since he was five years old, and explains that it is “a great passion to have in my life and it is always a way to have fun,” reflecting the impact that the sport has made on his life, and ending his last season is rather sad. In retrospect to how Mayfair performed in the La Mirada game and overall this season, Ridgers states that if the team had better practices by staying focused and lessened the amount that they messed around, the team could have done better.
Although the Mayfair boys’ soccer team experienced hard losses this season, it was apparent that they fought hard each game and had a lot of drive to do well no matter if they won or lost. The anticipated La Mirada game was no disappointment, and kept you on the edge of your seat for the entirety of the game.