By Christian Romo
The favored Wildcats dominated midfield possession and outshot the Apaches 22-7, but missed opportunities and a late offside call kept the two rivals even.
In the opening match of the season, the Monrovia Wildcats (0-0-1) and the Arcadia Apaches (0-0-1) drew 1-1 Tuesday afternoon in Arcadia. A goal off the head of senior Jonathan Goettling (9) in the 57th minute denied the Apaches an upset victory over their rivals.
Arcadia first-year coach Paul Miles said he was “very satisfied” with the result. “We’re coming off a pretty disappointing season last year,” he said.
The Apaches opened the scoring in the 45th minute when pressure from forward Alec Javahare (15) forced Wildcat goalie Edward Yousseff (24) to play the ball himself. Javahare got to the ball first, however, tapping the ball under Yousseff’s foot and into the net.
“That was basically just a big mistake,” said Monrovia coach Mike Williams, “but then again the whole game is made by mistakes.”
The Wildcats had a chance to go up 2-1 in the 73rd minute when junior Aymen Saleh (21) put a rebound into the back of the net, but an offside call cancelled the goal and inflamed the Wildcat sideline. “I would really like to see the film on the goal that was called back, I don’t think they were offside,” said Williams.
Though the result disappointed the Wildcats, Williams said his team is rebuilding from last season’s Rio Hondo league title. “The coaches are trying to learn where we can use players, where players can fit in…we’ve got to get them to gel as a unit.”
The visiting Arcadia fans gave their team an ovation as they exited the field, and Miles echoed their excitement. “We executed what we’ve been working on in the preseason, and we’re happy,” he said.
The Apaches host Glendora this Thursday at 3:30 p.m., while the Wildcats head to Paso Robles for a tournament game against Atascadero on Friday.