Maranatha Boys Soccer Team Off to a Red Hot Start in League

by: Matthew Leiva '19
The Maranatha boys soccer team has started off league with three consecutive wins.

The Maranatha boys soccer team has started off league with three consecutive wins.  These wins have been led by senior and captain Michael Antonovich.  Michael Antonovich scored six goals in the first three games of league play.  Junior Sam Dunn says, “Michael has led u us off to a great start and we are hoping to continue winning.”  Here is a recap of the last three games that the Maranatha boys soccer team has played.

In their first league game the Minutemen hosted Whittier Christian on a rainy day. Maranatha wasted no time finding the back of the net as Michael Antonovich notched his first conference goal in the opening minutes of play. His shot was setup by sophomore Eric Chang’s pass to Michael Antonovich who was able to curl the ball past the Whittier Christian keeper into the side netting. Whittier Christian answered back with an equalizer ten minutes later, but the Minutemen were ready to respond. Late in the first half it was sophomore Eric Chang again who carried the ball up the wing, and again passed the ball to Michael Antonovich whose shot beat the keeper again. The Minutemen were back on top and never looked back. After the half Michael Antonovich scored again off of a penalty kick which earned his second hat trick of the season.  The Minutemen won the game with a score of 3-1.

The Minutemen traveled last Tuesday to play Heritage Christian. The first thirty minutes of the match saw opportunities for both sides, but it was Maranatha that broke through the Heritage defense as sophomore John Hutto found Michael Antonovich. Michael Antonovich’s shot was on target and just out of reach of the goalkeeper. Shortly before halftime Aiden Arcos connected with a perfect cross from Michael Antonovich. His header found the net, which was his first goal of the season. Two minutes after the half Michael Antonovich scored his second goal of the game as Matt Malhotra pass set him up for the score. The fourth goal for the Minutemen came from Ezekiel Funches by way of an assist courtesy of Matthew Morales with twenty minutes left in the game. Goalkeeper Daylen Mcwhorter recorded his first clean sheet of the season, benefiting from a tough Maranatha defense that allowed only two shots on goal during the game.  The Minutemen won the game with a score of 4-0.

Maranatha faced off against Valley Christian last Friday, and the two teams wasted no time trading shots on goal. It was Valley that struck first as they scored within the first thirty minutes in the game.  Valley scored off of a header that found the back of the net. At the end of the first half the Minutemen were facing their first deficit in league competition.  When the second half began Maranatha applied pressure to Valley’s defense, and finally found an opening when Matthew Morales was brought down in the box. Captain Michael Antonovich buried the penalty kick, and evened the score. With ten minutes left, Matthew Malhotra found the upper part of the net off a pass from Chris Morales, which secured Maranatha’s 2-1 victory.

The Minutemen are looking to continue winning throughout their league games in order to earn the League Title.