Hart Boys’ Soccer Makes it to the Semifinals of CIF

Stefani Woll, Editor in Chief

The Hart boys’ soccer team has had a profound season. After winning league for the third year in a row this year, the boys had a strong start into Division III CIF . 

They played their first game against Royal High School, from Simi Valley, at home and won 7-2. Senior Lawrence Luna had a hatrick in the game, meaning he had three goals. Senior Nick Woll had two goals in the game and the other two goals were scored by two underclassmen. 

This substantial win secured them a spot into the second round of their Division 3 CIF journey. The boys faced Montebello in the second round at Montebello High School Saturday, February 15. The game remained close throughout regulation, ending in a score of 1-1. Woll scored the team’s only goal in the last two minutes of the game to allow the team to go into overtime. Overtime, which is determined by a golden goal, meaning that whoever scores first immediately wins, remained 1-1 for the full twenty minutes. This meant that the teams had to go into a penalty kick shootout. 

With Hart’s goalkeeper, Lucas Enriquez, making two crucial saves in the shootouts, Hart was able to win the game with a score of 4-3 in penalty kicks. 

The excitement of the second round carried over into the quarterfinals Tuesday, February 18, at the Indians’ home field. After Norwalk got the lead with an early goal from a team defensive error, Woll scored a on a bicycle kick from 16 yards out to tie the boys at 1-1 part way through the first half.  

Norwalk scored again in the second half and the Indians struggled to find the net. With many near misses in the second half, the clock was down to about 15 seconds left when Lawrence Luna was fouled inside the 18 yard box after beating two defenders down the line. The referee called a penalty kick that, if made, would tie up the score with just seconds to spare. Senior Joe Ochoa stepped up to take the kick, the weight of the game upon his shoulders, and a rocket towards the top middle of the goal found the back of the net even with Norwalk’s keeper getting a hand on it.

 After the goal, Norwalk kicked off and the referee blew the whistle for the end of regulation. Similarly to their game against Montebello, neither teams were able to score in overtime, meaning they would have to go to yet another penalty kick shootout. Luckily, Hart had been in a high pressure situation like this before just four days prior. 

Enriquez came up big again, stopping another two penalty kicks, giving Hart a big enough lead to have secured the win after the fourth shot from each team. The crowd went wild as Hart secured their semifinalist spot. The game will be at North Torrance High School Saturday, February 22. With State playoffs within reach and a possible CIF championship at stake, the Indians will have to give everything they have to earn a spot to the finals. 

Come out and support the boys Saturday!