Balboa stays unbeaten by knocking off SF International in boys' soccer 

click to enlarge Mario Leyva, right, hit a second-half header to put Balboa up 2-0 for good against San Francisco International High School. (Devin Chen/Special to The Examiner) - MARIO LEYVA, RIGHT, HIT A SECOND-HALF HEADER TO PUT BALBOA UP 2-0 FOR GOOD AGAINST SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL. (DEVIN CHEN/SPECIAL TO THE EXAMINER)
  • Mario Leyva, right, hit a second-half header to put Balboa up 2-0 for good against San Francisco International High School. (Devin Chen/Special to The Examiner)
  • Mario Leyva, right, hit a second-half header to put Balboa up 2-0 for good against San Francisco International High School. (Devin Chen/Special to The Examiner)

For the second straight game, the Balboa High School boys’ soccer team shut out it’s opponent at Crocker Amazon Park.

The Buccaneers (4-0) got out to an early lead and never looked back as they defeated San Francisco International High School 2-0 on Tuesday.

Balboa coach Wentworth Houston was impressed with his team’s defense and chemistry on the field.

“What’s happening is the experience of our defenders,” Houston said. “They are starting to know each other and read each other well. Our goalkeeper is doing a lot more talking to make them aware on who they have on their back.”

Turning up the intensity on defense has also helped the team’s offense.

“It helps the midfielders and the forwards being a little more confident [so] that they can [field] their positions better,” Houston said.

Balboa got off to an early start in the eighth minute when senior forward Erick Rubio-Arriola scored on a pass by fellow forward Nathan Tom to put Balboa up 1-0.

Rubio-Arriola knew what he had to do when he saw an opening.

“I was just thinking I have to put it in,” he said.

Balboa controlled the ball for the majority of the game, keeping SFI’s defense on its heels. Late in the first half, the Huskies made a charge toward the goal, but sophomore Chan Pong Chong’s shot was blocked by the Balboa goalkeeper.

SFI (1-1-1) came into the second half with more opportunities to score, but Balboa regained control, doubling its score on a header by Mario Leyva off Alvaro Gomez’s corner kick in the 53rd minute.

It was the first loss of the young season for a new program led by coach Brandon Garinger.

“We are missing a little bit of game experience,” Garinger said. “We are a new program and I thought we sort of had a slow start. We need to start a little bit sharper and a little bit quicker. I thought that had a real effect on the game.”

Although soccer might not be new to San Francisco International High School’s student-athletes, this is the first year the school has had varsity athletic teams and been a member of the Academic Athletic Association. 

As for Balboa, the Buccaneers look to improve on their perfect record.

“This game let us know that we have the talent and that we certainly can’t be big-headed,” Houston said. “We are confident knowing that we are ready to go to the next level.”

Balboa has its next game Tuesday against Washington High School, while SFI will play Thursday against Jordan.

Preps sports coverage provided in partnership by The San Francisco Examiner and SanFranPreps.com

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