Despite a 6-2 loss to St Mary’s Monday that likely ended its season, the Kennedy boys soccer team is young, talented and looking forward to next year, Coach Harry Campbell said Wednesday.
None of Kennedy’s three seniors were starters this year, Campbell said, and the Eagles will especially be in contention next season if they can keep the ultra-talented freshman Marco Gamez from transferring to another school.
A lot of other coaches “have their heads in his ear,” Campbell said, adding that Gamez has been invited to a player development program in Florida during the offseason.
Kennedy’s lone two goals during Monday’s match were scored by sophomores Jose Luis Arguetta and Jose Rodriguez.
Campbell believed Kennedy had plenty of opportunities to win the match, which was an elimination game in the second round of the Tri County Athletic League tournament.
Rodriguez scored on a penalty kick in the first 10 minutes following a breakaway from junior Jose Tirado. However, the Eagles failed to capitalize on several more scoring opportunities, the coach said, and St. Mary’s took a 2-1 lead at the half with help from a Kennedy hand-ball penalty.
Campbell said he is personally to blame for St. Mary’s four-goal second half.
“I made a mistake,” he said. “I took Jose Luis, the kid I call ‘The Wall’ in the back, and put him in the front. I shouldn’t have done that. I made that mistake earlier in the season and it also backfired.”
Campbell was disappointed because he thought Kennedy might have had a shot at the North Coast Section playoffs had his team won Monday.
“They weren’t 6-2 better than us,” Campbell said.
But the coach said he sees a ton of potential in his team.
“I think they are better than what they were, and they don’t realize it,” Campbell said. “I think we’re starting to bring the pride back this year after a couple big wins.”