Malibu boys soccer team honors seniors on Senior Night 

0
1394
The Malibu High boys soccer team celebrated its Senior Night on Jan. 26 ahead of the squad’s 1-0 home loss to Santa Paula. Photos by Devon Meyers/TMT.

The Malibu High boys soccer team celebrated its Senior Night on Jan. 26 ahead of the squad’s 1-0 home loss to Santa Paula. Photos by Devon Meyers/TMT.

The night included a pregame ceremony and food sales, which benefits the team’s banquet 

When the Malibu High Sharks boys soccer team’s center back, senior Amar Taha, kicked a goal in the squad’s 4-1 victory over Nordoff on Jan. 24, his senior teammates gathered around him and celebrated the score with him. 

One of those players, 12th-grader Travis Kies, said the moment perfectly describes the soccer team’s 10 seniors. 

“We are a fun group to be around,” he said. “In practice, everyone is focused, but we have fun. It’s fun because even when you aren’t the one scoring goals, we are happy for our teammate who does score.” 

The soccer team celebrated its senior group on Jan. 26 ahead of the squad’s 1-0 home loss to Santa Paula. The Senior Night included a ceremony before the contest and food sales, for which proceeds will go toward the team’s banquet. 

Along with Kies and Taha, the Sharks’ seniors include Dylan Mendez, William Kline, Felix de Raspide Ross, Brenden Readyhoff, Romane Foulquier, Dylan Goldberg, Julian Tompkins, and Travis Lapinkski.

Kies is not an emotional person, but being honored on Senior Night was nice, he recalled.

“It felt cool to see all the seniors and take a moment to reflect,” he said.

Tompkins, Malibu’s leading scorer, was appreciative of all the people that attended the game and supported the seniors.

“We had an awesome crowd,” the striker said. “It was a special moment for me and the other seniors. It was cool to finally have that moment.”

Sharks head coach Liam Anderson described the seniors as committed, focused, and strong. 

“They are a group of boys that really have each other’s backs, and they’ve always — whether we win or lose — they have always fought hard to the last second of every game,” the coach said. “That is their best quality. They are hard workers.”

He said the team’s seniors, many who played youth soccer together years before stepping on the field for the Sharks, have improved as a group. Malibu had a propensity to score first but then struggle finishing matches strong. Anderson said the seniors turned corrected that this season. 

“Maintaining focus for the entire game is something we have grown into,” he said. 

Anderson said the Sharks played with aggression throughout their 4-0 loss to Filmore on Jan. 20. 

“They had a big shift in mentality, and they looked a lot more threatening,” he said. “We created twice the amount of chances than we normally do.” 

Scoring early and often is something Malibu did well throughout the 2023-24 campaign. At press time, the Sharks had rang up 25 goals in 14 games. 

Anderson said attacking on offense is enjoyable.

“Win or lose, it’s always fun to watch them battle,” he said of the Sharks. “It’s been pretty exciting. Sometimes offense is the best defense. The game plan is to score the most goals.” 

Tompkins led the team with eight goals and one assist. Anderson called Tompkins a technical offensive player. 

“If we can get Julien the ball, there is a good chance he will finish it,” he said. “Get him the ball. He will score a goal for you.” 

Foulquier, who has played a variety of positions for Malibu throughout his high school career, had four goals and three assists. 

“[Foulquier] is a tireless runner,” Anderson said. “His passing is really dangerous. He is the guy that sets everyone else up.”

Kies, who has scored six goals with two assists, said scoring a lot was fun for everyone on the team. 

“A two goal deficient doesn’t seem that bad because we score really quickly,” he said. 

Tompkins noted that a various Sharks being scoring threats was unique. 

“The fact that a lot of us can do it is awesome,” he said. 

The Sharks had a 5-5-1 record heading into their game against Fillmore on Monday. Their last game of the season was on Wednesday against Channel Islands. 

Malibu began the season in November with consecutive wins over Buckley and Viewpoint. They defeated Village Christian and had two wins over Nordhoff. 

Anderson said the seniors are a joy to coach. 

“This is a group that asks me questions after practice,” he said. “They ask for extra opportunities to play and train. It’s always a joy to coach passionate players. They are in it and focused.” 

Kies said even though he and his classmates didn’t lead the Sharks to a CIF playoff berth, the season was still fun. 

“We wanted to have a memorable senior year,” he said.  

02mhsboyssoccerseniornight12624DM
The Malibu High boys soccer team celebrated its Senior Night on Jan. 26 ahead of the squad’s 1-0 home loss to Santa Paula. Photos by Devon Meyers/TMT.