Walnut Mustangs end Diamond Bar’s seven game winning streak


Xing Yen Quek

PROTECT FIELD POSITION– Senior forward Will Lee clears the ball out of DB’s territory to put the Brahmas in position to score.

In one of the biggest games of the season, the boys soccer team lost to the Walnut Mustangs 1-0 in a league match on Jan. 15 ending Diamond Bar’s seven-game winning streak.

The first half started out slowly, but the Brahma’s defense held out, causing several missed goal attempts by the Mustangs. DB goalies, senior Sean Maddex and junior Emmanuel Perez, were active and did not allow any goals to keep Diamond Bar in the game. Both teams had difficulty with each other’s dynamic defense, ending the first half dead even at zero goals apiece.

With the start of the second half came stronger offense from Walnut. After a couple of failed goal attempts by DB, Walnut scored first to take the lead 1-0. The Brahmas fought back by aggressively pushing the ball up field into Mustangs’ territory. With one chance left to a tie senior co-captain Kase Vollebregt took it upon himself to keep the team’s  league undefeated record. Unfortunately, his anticipated shot missed high, right off the goal post. “We had scouted them right, and had people in the right spots. We just missed too many opportunities,” Coach Kemp Wells said.

Walnut’s aggressive and very physical style of play met head-to-head against DB’s more strategy-based approach. The clash of the teams’ contrasting characteristics only added to the intensity of the game. Throughout the match, several yellow cards were given to both sides due to the physicality of the players. At one point junior Rees Vollebregt was asked to leave the field due to injuries that needed attention before returning to play. ”We matched up well against a team that is known for being very physical. We may have been the little guys, but we gave a good fight,” Vollebregt said.

Both sides had missed many goal opportunities due to the  strong defenses by both teams. In the end, Walnut scored in the last fifteen minutes of the game, securing their victory. “We had our opportunities out there today, we just didn’t capitalize on them like we usually do,” senior co-captain Gabe Brown said.

Needless to say, this was a very tough loss for the Brahmas. Losing to a district rival, in addition to stepping down from its top position in league, is not easy to swallow. The team is confident, however, that it will return stronger for the next upcoming match against Walnut, which will take place before the season comes to an end. “We need to practice hard so next time, we will be ready for Walnut,” K. Vollebregt shared.

This match is only a beginning to many challenges that await DB in the remainder of this season. Despite the loss against the Mustangs, the Brahmas are more than ready to advance in their league, especially after beating the number one team in the division, La Cañada, earlier this season. “We can beat any team, we just have to go out there giving 100 percent and capitalizing on more opportunities,” Brown said.

After an outstanding start to the season, Walnut ended the seven game winning. However, this was not enough to discourage the Brahmas as they  turned things around and went on to win back-to-back games. Even though the Brahmas cannot go undefeated like last year, they are still likely to play for the league title.