By Ryan Kuhn
Balboa High School and Jordan School play each other in boys soccer every season, but people may not know that the two schools are only a mile apart, giving a whole new meaning to cross-town rivalry.
After going winless against Jordan last year, Balboa earned retribution by holding off the Jaguars 2-1 in Academic Athletic Association play on Tuesday at the Crocker Amazon Soccer Fields.
Balboa junior Aiden Weir gave the Buccaneers the lead early when he scored his first high school goal in the fifth minute.
“I saw the opportunity and just went up there and took it,” Weir said.
Weir knew that an early lead would be key for his team’s victory.
“It was very important to get out of the gates early,” he said. “Jordan is a tough team. I really thought they would be [able] to come back in the second half, but we held strong.”
In the 15th minute, the Buccaneers (2-0) struck again when junior forward Nathan Tom scored on his own rebound to stretch the score to 2-0.
Despite being down early, the Jaguars (0-1) answered back 11 minutes later with a goal from freshman Aldair Chavez, who headed the ball into the back of the net.
Balboa head coach Wentworth Houston said he knew it was going to be a tough battle.
“It was very good that we got that two-goal lead, but when Jordan scored their goal, they had the momentum going their way,” Houston said. “They were pressuring us for the majority of the game.”
With just minutes left in the first half, Jordan had a chance to equalize, but a pass to the middle was deflected out of bounds by senior Eduardo Herrera, keeping the Buccaneers’ lead intact.
The Jaguars’ pressure remained in the second half, as Jordan outshot Balboa 7-2, but the Bucs defense held firm.
“A team like Jordan is tough,” Weir said. “They have a strong offense, but staying together and talking is the important thing on the field.”
Even though Balboa is perfect on the young 2011 season, the team knows improvement is needed to be successful.
“We need to get in shape a little more and we also need to communicate,” Weir said. “A lot of us haven’t played together before so we have to learn each other’s play style.”