The Cate boys soccer team wasted no time asserting themselves Tuesday in the opening round of the Division 5 CIF-SS playoffs down at Hawthorne High School. After a narrow miss about 30 seconds in, the Rams found the back of the net in the 3rd minute when junior Lukas Hendriks nodded home freshman Seb Sutch’s back post free-kick, and again in the 7th minute when Sutch tallied his own goal to the far post when junior Peter Wood put him into space behind the Hawthorne right back. In the 26th minute, junior Daniel Boateng converted a free kick in the upper right corner from about 22 yards out. Hawthorne got one back in the final minutes of the half on a corner kick. The second half began with Cate reasserting themselves with intense defensive midfield pressure and quick transition play, which resulted in Boateng breaking free, getting taken down in the box, and converting the PK just two minutes in. 12 minutes later, senior Shion Kato put Boateng in behind the Hawthorne defense and Boateng completed his hat trick from the penalty spot after getting taken down again in the box. The Rams put their 6th and final tally on the board in the 64th minute when Sutch found sophomore Jae Lim on a slick through ball which Lim confidently tucked away. Hawthorne scored their second goal on yet another corner kick in the final minutes of the game. The final score was 6-2.
We began the game with an energy and intensity that belied the fact that we’d just spent two hours on a bus. Such starts have become our calling card this year. We’ve made it incredibly tough for opposing teams to play through our midfield, and when we turn them over, we counterattack relentlessly. We kept Hawthorne under pressure all day, not allowing them to string together more than two or three passes at a time. It was an impressive playoff showing for such a young team. We now head to Artesia High School Thursday to take on the 7th ranked team in Division 5.