Sharks boys soccer kicks for wins to start season

The Malibu High boys soccer team poses for a photo after its 5-1 win over Buckley on Nov. 16. Contributed Photo

The Malibu High boys soccer team poses for a selfie after its 5-1 win over Buckley on Nov. 16. Contributed Photo

Malibu High fielding 10 seniors among its 16 players for the 2023-24 campaign

The Malibu High Sharks boys soccer teams’ preseason training featured more than passing and scoring the ball on the field at Malibu High. 

The squad did speed and agility training with track hurdles and agility ladders. Oh, and the squad ran — a lot — said head coach Liam Anderson. 

“We did conditioning and tactical work,” he said. “They are always up for a challenge. We have been running Zuma. I’d say there has been 15 to 20 miles of conditioning a week.” 

Anderson said the Sharks’ endurance training led to them running circles around their first three opponents this season on the pitch. Malibu began their campaign with a 1-0 home win over Providence on Nov. 14. The Sharks beat Buckley 5-1 two days later, also at home. The squad downed Viewpoint 4-1 in Calabasas on Nov. 28. 

Malibu’s coach said the group can have a standout season.

“This group wants to win games and work hard,” Anderson said. “It’s a positive start for the boys. The boys are very excited and really locked in for the season to try to progress together.” 

Sharks senior Travis Kies said Malibu has played great.

“We definitely need to keep improving and have the potential to play even better,” he said. ​

Senior Romane Foulquier scored Malibu’s lone goal in the triumph over Providence. The scoring ball was passed between the feet of Sharks’ players six or seven times before Foulquier kicked it beyond the reach of a diving goalkeeper and into the back of the net. 

“It was a great team goal,” Anderson noted. “It was a lot of intricate passing throughout the midfield.” 

Foulquier scored two goals in Malibu’s victory over Buckley. Senior Julian Tompkins also kicked two scores. Senior Travis Kies, who scored nine goals a season ago, placed the ball in the back of the net once also. 

The Sharks hosted Carpinteria on Wednesday. They host Hueneme on Friday at 5:15 p.m.

Malibu finished last season with only three wins. The bunch lost a handful of games by a single goal. Anderson said if the Sharks play solid defense — their goal is to allow no more than one score a contest — those losses can transform into wins. 

“We scored a lot of goals last year,” he said. “We have most of our goal scorers from last year, so we just need to allow less goals. We have spent a lot of time on defensive organization.”

The players, Anderson noted, had played winning AYSO soccer together before the high school season. 

The 16-member squad is led by its 10 seniors, who Anderson described as focused and resilient. 

Kies said Malibu’s goal is to make the playoffs. 

“In order for the team to have a great season, we need to work hard in practice and just get a little better each game,” he said. “As the underdogs in our league, we need to give 110 percent and play scrappy to beat these other teams.” 

The Sharks have a winning mentality, Anderson noted.

“The mentality of the team is really exciting to work with,” he said. “They all want to work hard. They all don’t give up. They want to be pushed. They want things to be difficult. They are great at encouraging each other to work harder. It’s an inspiring thing for me to watch.”