Rough patch blocks team’s goal

BOYS SOCCER The Brahmas missed the cut for CIF after losing their last two games.



Senior Zachary Daniels struggles for the ball in the team’s second league win; the boys finished the season tied for third.

In a hard-fought attempt to qualify for CIF in this year’s Mt. Baldy League, the Diamond Bar High School boys soccer team came up short. The Brahmas finished tied for third place with Montclair, ending the season with a league record of 5-4-1 and an overall record of 11-11-2.

“This was a very close league. The team that won league [Chaffey], only won 5 games also,” head coach Kemp Wells said. “The top four schools won five games, but then the difference was who lost games and who tied games.”

The boys lost two of their last three games of the season, defeating Don Lugo, 2-0, with goals being scored by junior Hani Baba and senior Thomas Vasquez, but losing to Chaffey, 3-0, and Montclair, 2-1.

“It was unbelievably close… When they [the boys] played together, they really did play well,” Wells said about the game against Montclair. “We just had a couple of bad breaks in the game and couldn’t finish.”

Comparing this season to the last, coach Wells commented on the team’s ability to score offensively.

“Last season every game was a close game, we lost by one every single loss in the league,” Wells said. “This year we had some bad losses, but we also had a better offense, so we were able to offset that… in the games that we won.”

Team captain Zachary Daniels attributed the team’s victories to the young talent on the team, who mainly ran the offense and scored goals throughout the season.

“This year we had a lot more younger players than we did last year,” Daniels said. “A lot of our star players were younger players that played in the offense, so we scored more goals this year than last year.”

One such player was sophomore forward Justin Bortis, who scored the most out of the team with 10 goals over the season, averaging 1.3 goals per match.

“Our forward team definitely communicated and worked together well,” Bortis said. “I’m actually really happy with the way I performed this season. Whenever I got my chances in front of the goal, I always put them away.”

Even so, Bortis said he believes the team as a whole needs to work on communication and build relationships, an issue that has been with the team since the season started.

“We need to work on our communication,” Bortis said. “Some of us aren’t that close and some of us are. I feel that we need to become closer as a team so that we can understand each of each other’s play styles and stuff like that.”

Looking back on his favorite moment this past season, junior forward Abdul Abboushi recalls the team’s first match against Don Lugo in which his play brought the team back into the game.

“When we played Don Lugo the first time, we were down 1-0,” Abboushi said.” I dribbled by two defenders and one of them tried to slide me but didn’t get me and I megged the goalie to tie it up. After that, the game shifted more to us.”