By Matthew Snyder
International High School and Marin Academy entered Wednesday’s boys soccer game at the Crocker Amazon Soccer Fields with matching undefeated records atop the Bay Counties League West, but the similarities ended there.
Marin Academy has been the preeminent force in the BCL West for years now, winning the past four league titles, while International is in its debut campaign in the league.
That inexperience showed against the Wildcats, who pinned the Jaguars in their own half on the way to a 5-0 victory, in which, they missed a penalty shot and twice saw shots carom off the post.
Marin Academy (10-1-2, 5-0-0) fired 15 shots, including 11 on target, and pushed their season goal tally to an impressive 43.
International head coach Carlos Bover was disappointed in the loss, but relished the opportunity for his young team to play against such a powerful opponent.
“It was a tough game, but it was kind of expected,” Bover said. “It was a good learning experience for us. We played against the best team that we’ve played all year. They are very talented, very strong and very good.”
Marin Academy dictated play from the opening kickoff, but struggled to unlock the resilient Jaguars’ defense. They did not record a shot until the 13th minute.
Both teams have endured a glut of games recently, with the Wildcats slogging to a 1-1 draw in 100-degree weather against rivals Branson on Monday. Marin Academy head coach Joshua Kalkstein said the Branson encounter was “an emotional one.” Peter Krebs, one of two Marin Academy team captains, suffered a concussion in that game and has yet to return from the injury.
Kalkstein didn’t use fatigue as an excuse, but he believed his side could have been sharper at the start against the Jaguars (6-2-5, 4-1-0).
“We focused on changing the point of attack early on,” he said. “We improved the ball speed, and tried to eliminate some of [International’s defensive] lines, in particular trying to find the weak side of play. As soon as we started doing that, we started creating some gaps, and from there we were able to systematically break down their lines and find some seams in behind, and it opened up for us a little bit.”
Marin Academy senior defender Chase Porter scored the first goal of the game, and the first of his varsity career, in the 23rd minute.
Forward Dexter Eichhorst scored the second goal nine minutes later with a header from Eloi Vasquez’s corner. After the Wildcats hit the post in the 37th minute, Vasquez got a goal of his own seconds before halftime, when he finished off a sweeping pass.
The game’s pace tapered off in the second half, but Marin Academy still managed to add two more goals. Vasquez got his second in the 53rd minute, playing a neat one-two pass with Eichhorst at the top of the box before slotting his side-footed shot into the net.
In the 58th minute, winger Andreas Freund slalomed down the right flank before picking a pass for Eichhorst at the top of the box. The junior forward finished tidily to make it 5-0.
International struggled to create chances of their own, tallying just three shots and only one on target.
“We’re still trying to learn what our strong points are,” Bover said. “Marin Academy is known for being very, very strong, so we were just trying to learn from them.
“We made a couple of mistakes today. Even though we were very focused on the game, we were not thinking. When [Marin Academy plays] the game, they’re smarter and they change situations, and I don’t think we’re there yet. They’re very experienced, and that’s something we don’t have yet on the field.”