The Grizzlies hosted San Ramon Valley, hoping to avoid a three-game losing streak. The Wolves had other plans.
San Ramon Valley got off to a quick start, scoring three times in the first half. The third goal came with a little more than three minutes left before halftime.
Wolves’ forward Cole Bennett gained control of a loose ball near the right sideline, just outside the penalty box, after outracing a Grizzlies defender. He dribbled into the box and fired a shot to the left far post, beating California High goalkeeper Jake Lepere.
The San Ramon Valley midfielders and forwards were sharp the entire match. Center midfielders distributed the ball precisely to the outside midfielders, who worked the sidelines diligently.
That style of play provided the Wolves with different opportunities in front of the opposing goal. San Ramon Valley created a couple of free kicks near both sidelines, just outside the penalty box; one of which resulted in a score during the second half.
“We were trying to play with consistency and a lot of pace. Just moving the ball up and down the field,” said junior Kyle Schumann, Wolves defender.
“The game plan for us was just to be as consistent as we could for 80 minutes and to be a better team at the end of the night than we were at the beginning of the night,” said San Ramon Valley head coach Don Busboom.
San Ramon made the most out of their shots on goal, scoring on all of their five clear chances. The Grizzlies had four shots on goal and scored on two occasions.
The Cal High defense looked out of rhythm the majority of the game and could not find an answer to the Wolves offense. However, the Grizzlies offense found the back of the net with about 25 minutes left in the game.
Cal High forward Eric Asari put the ball past the diving effort of Wolves goalkeeper Aidan Struck with a delicate, well-placed shot near the right post.
San Ramon Valley responded with their fifth goal, two minutes after Asari’s score.
Grizzlies head coach Chris Faidley knew it would be a tough game, due to the team’s injuries.
“We’re a little beat up all over,” he said. “San Ramon is an excellent team… They’re one of the most talented teams in our area. We can play better, but you have to give them some credit.”
Although San Ramon Valley scored five goals, Busboom still sees room for improvement.
“The object of the game is to score goals. So, we tried to get forward and we tried to get forward fast, but I thought there were actually some opportunities we had to finish that we didn’t put away. So, finishing is a place to improve.”
The Wolves will host Richmond High School on Saturday at 3 p.m., while Cal High will visit Livermore High next Tuesday at 6 p.m.