Malibu’s Season Ends In The Final Minute

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The 2013-14 MHS boys soccer team poses with parents before Senior Night. The boys beat Carpinteria 3-0 for a satisfying victory to send off a senior class that has enjoyed tremendous success. 

With one minute left to go, Malibu was on their way to overtime against Cathedral in the second round of the CIF playoffs. However, that would not be the case as the last minute ended the season for the Malibu Sharks. Cathedral’s Kris Nunez scored in the final minute of regulation to win the game, but nonetheless the performance of the Sharks this season will not easily be forgotten.

Led by head coach Julian Wright, Malibu high’s boy’s soccer looked prime and ready for a great season as a team and in the division. They only loss two consecutive games once this entire season. Winning five of their first seven games, the Sharks were a force to be reckoned with in the division. Brothers Jake Gooden (midfield) and Jonah Gooden (forward) were some of the seniors that led this Sharks team. 

Going into the last six games of the season, the team held a record of 8-4-3 and won five of those last six games to improve to 13-4-4, which made them co-champions of the Tri-Valley league for the first time since 2008. 

“This means everything to them. It means a lot to the program and to the school,” Malibu coach Julian Wright said. “We are just very happy to bring a championship back to Malibu. It’s been a lot of fun. The boys have worked hard and they have bonded well. I’ve been very grateful for what has happened this year with them.”

Malibu entered the first round of the CIF Division IV playoffs to take on St. Genevieve. Led by senior forward Tyler Savitsky’s two goals and junior goalie Max Watkin, the Sharks routed St. Genevieve 6-0 and won their first CIF playoff game since 2010. 

“I thought we had a solid overall performance. Personally, to score two goals as a forward, you are happy with that,” Savitsky said. “I don’t think I’ve ever been on a team as hungry as this one. We have 10-plus seniors all looking forward to winning a championship.”

Knocking on the door was Cathedral, a team having a dominant season with a record of 22-1-1. 

“This is what we want. A lot of teams back away from chances like this,” said Wright. “This is exactly what we are hoping for. A chance to prove ourselves and a chance to test ourselves against the very best.”

In the past two seasons, Malibu lost in the wild card round of playoffs but this win put that fact in the rear view mirror.

“We remembered the last two years so we came out and played our hardest. We did the job,” Watkin said. “Now we want a shot at the top dog and see what we can do.”

There was no doubt that Malibu had a huge task in front of them and they rose to the occasion, playing toe to toe with Cathedral the entire game. 

Certainly from a record stand point, Cathedral was the favorite to win, however, it did not bother Malibu at all. It seemed both teams were evenly matched as the game progressed with each side playing their hearts out. 

In the end Cathedral came out on top in the final minute but the Sharks definitely gave it their all and that is something to be proud of. 

Next year the team will have a lot of new faces taking leadership roles as this year marked the final season for 11 seniors. The Sharks will be a club to watch as the younger team grows together and develops into a contender year in and year out.