By: David Segal
After a tough loss to Verrado at home on January 22, the AFHS men’s soccer team responded nicely with two road wins against Willow Canyon and Millennium by scores of 6-2 and 3-2 on the 24th and 29th.
First, the Owls traveled to Willow Canyon in their third region game of the season. Although Willow Canyon came in with a very poor record, they started strong and struck first when they were awarded a penalty kick that was converted with ease. The Owls struck back with a goal from Israel Mora but fell behind on another penalty kick that was just out of the reach of goalkeeper Carlos Merida.
The Owls remained on the back foot for the rest of the first half but the score remained 1-2. Despite the deficit, Coach Eid was not worried, and his team converted for him through sophomore forward Israel Mora. Israel scored the first goal of the half to tie the score at 2-2, then he went on to score three more, giving him a total of 5 for the game.
The sixth goal came courtesy of a late strike from Eli Bojado, completing the Owls first comeback win of the season. After the game, Israel said that in the second half “we came out stronger and wanted to win it more.”
The Owls then had to travel to district rivals Millennium in the final road game of the season. The game meant a little more for Coach Eid as well, who graduated from Millenium and led them to a 24-0 state championship season, Millennium’s first-ever state championship.
This season, Millenium comes into the game with a 4-4-1 record, looking to defend their home turf and keep their playoff hopes alive. Although Millenium kept it close throughout the whole game, Israel Mora was the hero again, scoring a hat trick to outlast Millennium 3-2.
The 13th-ranked Owls’ next game is home on Thursday, February 7, as they take on #20 Camelback in the playoffs.