September 26, 2021
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Titans crush Mustangs

  • Technology High Senior Kayli Worden is launching the ball. Robert Grant

By: Joshua Farestveit-Moore
November 9, 2018

Tech High blew past St. Vincent Saturday, 4-0, at Rancho Cotate High School to advance onto the finals of the NCS Girls Soccer Championship. It was a close game, at least at the start, but the Tech High Titan’s aggressive offense kept the St. Vincent Mustangs off balance and built themselves a significant lead throughout the second half. It felt in the first half that they were controlling the ball a lot more, so I talked to the girls and we made a lot of adjustments. I think that was the big difference,” Titan Head Coach, Melissa Knoll, said. “I’m so proud of them. It’s the first time being in the final. Last year we got to the semis and so this is our first time actually being in the finals. This is so exciting.” Both sides seemed evenly matched at the outset. Possession passed freely between the two competitors—first to one team, then to the other, and it wasn’t until the Mustangs fouled the Titans just past the center of the field that things began to change. Titan midfielder, Kayli Worden, took the shot. With a leg like a trebuchet, the ball soared up into the air and arced gently over the head of the Mustang goalkeeper to land safe and secure in the net.   That was the first and only point scored throughout the opening half. “We had the butterflies. We were nervous,” Worden said. “This is our second year going into semi-finals, and last year we lost to Eureka, so this was a really important game for us. I feel like there was a lot of expectations, especially with our strong record.” After the break, the Titans came back onto the field intense and ready for action. The next ‘Titans’ drive saw Worden again, this time pushing the ball forward through a stiff Mustang defense. Two Mustangs covered her, but Worden shot the ball through a gap between their legs right into the waiting feet of Titan forward, Aveen Dulai. At knife range, Dulai went one on one with the Mustang goalie. Dulai took the shot and the goalie slid to block, but she missed and the ball rolled into the goal. This gave the Titans a significant lead. A few minutes later, Worden repeated her performance from the first half with another penalty shot, again from midfield. She stepped back and with a powerful kick sent the ball up over the heads of Mustangs. It bounced once and, quite unintentionally as Worden later explained in interview, fell into net. Accident or no, the goal still counted. Next up it was Dulai’s turn for another drive. She pushed hard and outstripped the pursuing Mustang defense, but they caught up to her outside the goal box. Dulai looked frantically for a teammate to pass to, and she found one in fellow forward and freshman, Elise Exelby. Exelby found a gap and shot. The goalie dove, but she was too late and the Titans closed out the game with a 4-point lead. At the end of the day the results are like your bonus,” Mustang Head Coach, Thomas Morales, said. “The performance? The bonding and everything between the girls? That’s what really matters. I’m happy with my team.” With the win against the Mustangs under their belt, the Titans will face off next Sat. Nov. 10 against St. Bernard for the NCS Division 3 Championship title. The game will take place at Rancho Cotate High School.