The Tech High Titans proved too much for the Credo High Gryphons to handle Saturday, Sep. 22nd in a soccer match behind Richard Crane. The game ended 3-0.
Experience and size made the difference at the end of the day. The Titans put forward eight senior girls who have played together for their entire high school career, and their aggressive synergy shoved the Gryphons onto the defensive.
“They, and I, have come a long way as a team. We’ve grown together,” Melissa Knoll, Titan’s coach, said. “I feel like this is our season. If any season is our season, this will be it.”
At the start of the game, the Titans wasted little time seizing control of the ball. Titan forwards, Aveen Dulai and Madalie Deniz, scored a pair of quick goals within five minutes of the start of the match that put the Titans in a comfortable spot moving forward.
But the Titan’s early goals galvanized the Gryphon’s defense and it was the Gryphon goalie, Sequoia Quigley, that kept the lead from growing.
Her first save came when Titan midfielder, Kayli Worden, charged through the Gryphon defensive lines, ducking and weaving, and passed the ball to Aveen. Aveen took off, and with a spin kick fired the ball off at Sequoia, but Sequoia dived and slapped it away.
The Gryphons regained possession and went on the offense. A vicious back and forth around midfield pushed the ball first one way, then another, but it took Credo’s forward, Cassie Koldis, to put the Titans on the back foot. She brought the ball into knife range of the goal, but a sliding tackle by the Titan goalie knocked it out of her possession.
The half ended with the Titans still in the lead.
“We’ve had a really slow start. This is only our fourth game. Most teams are in their seventh or eighth,” said Chrit Longmaid, Gryphon’s coach. “We’re working on it. It’s clear we haven’t had the opportunity to practice, so we’ll catch up.”
The Titan’s blitzkrieg continued into the second half. The ball rolled out of bounds near the Gryphon goal and the kick back inside brought it firmly into the possession of Titan midfielder, Kayli Worden. She fired off a powerful shot that skirted just above the grass. Credo’s goalie, Sequoia, dropped like a stone, performing the splits in a move that barely managed to keep the ball from rolling inside.
But under the Titan’s onslaught, the Gryphon defense eventually cracked. The sun drooped down to the edge of the horizon and cast its glare into Sequoia’s eyes. Kayli gained possession of the ball around midfield, and with a kick that could be heard from the stands, sent it soaring. Sequoia lost it in the glare. The ball fell into the net and the Titans secured the win.
“I love soccer. It’s my life,” said Kayli. “I like the person I have become through soccer. It has definitely affected my confidence, it’s one of my favorite hobbies and I like the way it makes me feel. Soccer is an escape from reality.”
This is the eighth win for the Titans this season, and so far, they’ve remained undefeated. With so many of their star players set to graduate, however, there’s worry surrounding Tech High’s viability next year, but Titan coach, Melissa Knoll, dismissed those concerns.
“I’ve got nine freshmen that I just got into, which is unusual. That doesn’t normally happen,” Knoll said. “That original group of eight? I’ve never had a group like that. It’s ironic that they’re all seniors and now I’ve got a whole new batch of freshman coming in.