By Josh Levine
For the second season in a row, International High School has been knocked out of the North Coast Section Division II playoffs in the first round after a 2-0 loss to Head-Royce of Oakland on Wednesday at Kezar Stadium.
Neither team scored in the first half, but the 10th-seeded Jayhawks (11-4-3) broke through in the 50th minute on a goal from junior forward Robert Giesler and never looked back.
“In the first half, we really wore down their center backs and we exposed them,” said Head-Royce head coach Rick Redfield. “They were definitely favored coming in, but we kept ourselves strong, especially on defense.”
The Jayhawks focused their defensive effort on International senior forward Kai Leshne, who was held to just two shots on target
“They did not let me turn. I should have played more with my teammates and passed the ball faster,” Leshne said. “We were all concerned when the game was scoreless at the end of the first half, but we came in with low energy. They wanted it more and they won.”
International head coach Carlos Bover also noticed a lack of energy from the seventh-seeded Jaguars (16-5-2).
“We have had this problem all season, a lack of energy and attitude. I told them before the game that [it] was winnable,” Bover said. “I am very disappointed. [Head-Royce] deserved [the] win and we didn’t do anything to deserve to win today.”
The Jayhawks controlled the majority of possession, especially in the first half, when the Jaguars only sent one shot on net.
Clinging to a 1-0 lead, Head-Royce sealed the game in the 77th minute on a goal from Pablo Cuadros, which was assisted by Gregory Hui.