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CHS boys soccer lose physical match

A soccer game between two well-matched teams is going to be very physical. But last Thursday’s boys varsity match in Claremont resembled a completely different sport—something between rugby and wrestling.

Even veteran coach Fred Bruce-Oliver commented afterward that it was more like a tackle football game. Twice the boys got into shoving matches resulting in plenty of yellow cards and even a red card for the Brahmas’ Tony di Donato.

In the end however, Diamond Bar defeated the Pack 2-1.

“When you are playing a game where both teams are contenders for the title it [physical play] is going to happen, last year we tied them and beat them, here they were amped,” said coach Bruce-Oliver.

Amped is a valid description of both teams’ performance as there really was no clear advantage as far as control over the ball or shots on goal.

The Brahmas went on the board first when Connor Donohue caught goalkeeper Nathan Armas out of position and caught the left side of the net.

As is often the case, the Pack answered back with a goal less than 3.5 minutes later. Sophomore Ben Lynch drove a flawless header past the keeper on an equally nice throw in from sophomore Justin Tinajero.

At the 70-minute mark, Claremont fouled Mohamad Abboushi about 20 yards in front of the Pack’s goal which resulted in both teams squaring off with plenty of shouting and shoving on both sides. The referee tried to restore civility, but apparently di Donato crossed the line, earning a red card and an ejection from the game.

Abboushi lined up his free kick and sent it sailing over a line of Claremont defenders and Armas as Diamond Bar scored their game-winning goal.

Claremont had a few heart breaking chances to get back in the game, including a break away shot by senior Patrick Luevano that beat the keeper but hit the goal post.

“Nature of the game,” said Bruce-Oliver following the game. “It is a truism in soccer, both teams will get chances, it’s the team that puts the chances away that will win, and they did.”

“We had talked about how we need to win all of our home games and win a few away but we dropped a home game which is not good,” he said. “We have to hope we get the results all the way until we meet them again.”

The Brahmas followed up by defeating Bonita 4-2 on Tuesday and are in first place in the Palomares League with a 4-0 record. The Pack also scored a victory on Tuesday defeating Glendora 1-0 and bringing their record to 3-1, which is good enough for second place. Bonita is in third place with a 2-2 record.

—Steven Felschundneff

steven@claremont-courier.com