The T.C. boys soccer team lost to the Langley Saxons yesterday in the second round of the Northern Region Tournament, 1-0. Despite countless tries by Titans Alex Mansaray, Abdel Al Nimiry, Eryk Williamson and Captain Manuel Benites, T.C. failed to put any points on the board. The first 70 minutes were scoreless until Langley’s Justin Galiani scored the only goal of the game on a header.
The majority of the game was played on Langley’s half of the field, with strong Titan control of the ball. The few times the Saxons gained possession, T.C. Goalkeeper Nick Braun, often with the help of Defender Marcus Ninman, was there to stop their progress. Ninman, who started the game with a diving block with his head, had to be helped to the sidelines with 25 minutes left due to a collision with a Saxon forward. Five minutes later, Langley finally broke through.
The game became increasingly physical and the Titans appeared to be equipped with a newfound sense of urgency, which soon turned to frustration. Titan Mauricio Salvatierra got a yellow card in the 77th minute, followed by Benites not long after. As time expired, T.C. players and fans were left wondering if many of the ref’s calls were warranted.
“We aren’t a dirty team. We don’t look to cause any fouls, we just play the game,” said Captain Kelvin Marin-Solis. “The ref lost control and gave the game up for us. We were clearly the better team.”
The bleachers at Parker-Gray were packed both Tuesday and Thursday, which bodes well for future support of T.C. soccer. Titan fans were loud, and many were standing and jumping by the end of the game.
“I loved the way students, staff, parents and members of the community came together to support the team,” said T.C. Principal Suzanne Maxey. “Coach Nickley and his staff have created a very classy program. They play hard, but fair. The team represented the true meaning of Titan Pride.”