Boys Soccer Advances to District Championship with 4-1 Win


ILS boys soccer won the district semifinal 4-1 over Palmer Trinity.


On Tuesday afternoon, the ILS boys varsity soccer team defeated host Palmer Trinity in the District 3A 15 tournament by the score of 4-1.

The Royal Lions soccer team finished the regular season 2-3-8, a far cry from what they’ve done over the last few years. But that record hides the fact that the team is very young (mostly freshmen and sophomores) and very competitive. ILS features one of the best defenses in the region.

Palmer entered the game with a 8-2-3 record, including 6-2-3 on their home field. The Goals-For and Goals-Against ratio tilted in their favor: 41-13. The Falcons averaged over three goals per game this season.

But the ILS defense shut down the Falcons and dominated the game.

Heading into the playoffs, the Royal Lions had struggled to get a win. Their last victory came in early December when ILS defeated Archbishop McCarthy 1-0. After that game, the Royal Lions went 0-2-6 over their final eight games. Many of those games were frustrating for the team because they had the opportunity to win.

One of the reasons for the team’s lack of success in 2020 has been, in part, because of the youth. Many of the rotation players are young, and more than half of the team is made up of freshmen or sophomores.

But in the District Semi-Final, the veterans of the team came forward to secure the victory.

The Royal Lions were led by seniors Miguel Valle, Marcello Aedo and Kamani Turner. Valle scored the team’s first goal off a penalty kick. Aedo put in the next two goals for ILS off free kicks. Turner capped the scoring for the Royal Lions to push the lead to 4-1.

Sophomore Manuel Lopez played an excellent game in goal in the district semifinal.

In addition to the seniors, sophomore Manuel Lopez played incredibly well as goalkeeper. He stopped more than seven shots on goal versus Palmer Trinity.

Coach Richard Jobson is confident that the team can make a run in the postseason at this point, saying they are going to peak at the right time. The team has made deep playoff runs in recent years. Last season, ILS finished as State Runner-Ups after a heartbreaking loss to Highland Prep on penalty kicks. In 2018, ILS lost in the Regional Final to American Heritage, the eventual State Champion. In 2017, the team lost in the State Final to Berkley Prep.

This year’s team has the chance to secure the school’s fourth straight district championship. They’re set to face rival Ransom Everglades.

Ransom enters the district final with an impressive 17-3-1 record, and a staggering 71-14 Goals-For/Goals-Against ratio. They defeated Westminster Christian 1-0 in their district semifinal game.

While scoring goals has been an issue for ILS this season, it wasn’t versus Palmer. The Royal Lions have a 15-16 Goals-For/Goals-Against ratio, which isn’t great. But the matchup versus Ransom is one the team should be able to overcome.

ILS defeated Ransom in their game earlier this season, 3-1. It was ILS’s highest scoring output prior to their four goals versus Palmer. In that game versus, freshman Santiago Sanchez, and seniors Mateo Munizaga and Santiago Ballestas each scored a goal.

The District Final will be played on Friday, February 7th, at Palmer Trinity School. There’s a $6 state fee to get in to see the game.