|Soccer - Boys (V) SGIS|
|Date:||November 3, 2018|
TASIS 0 - 2 LAS
This weekend the TASIS Varsity Boys Soccer team hosted the SGIS Tournament at the National Youth Sports Centre Tenero in Ticino—the largest tournament of the season in which international schools from around Switzerland compete for the championship. The first game was against Leysin American School (LAS). Coming off a week of Academic Travel and having not played ball for nearly two weeks, the TASIS boys struggled to find their rhythm. As the rain came down, LAS scored an early goal that skimmed into the net. The TASIS boys' confidence returned with a number of strong counterattacks from Mikail Hameed '19 and Giuseppe Tola '19. The boys found a rhythm in the second half, but not before LAS scored another goal on a well-placed free kick to end the game with a score of 2-0.
Next TASIS took on rivals International School Zug Luzern (ISZL). The boys were looking to respond to their loss to ISZL at the ISSL Tournament in Zurich last month. This time the Tigers were prepared, moving the ball quickly, maintaining shape and possession, and controlling the tempo of the game with confidence. With some beautiful defending by Filip Larsson '19, midfield distribution by Adrian Esmoris '21, and a late goal from Alessandro Piermattei '19, TASIS came away with a solid 1-1 draw.
For their third and final match of the day, TASIS played Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz (LAZ). With the weather improving and despite some injuries, both teams played with intensity. TASIS found more confidence in the offensive third, and while holding the defensive line, the goals started to arrive. Tola scored a beautifully placed free kick around the wall and out of the keeper's diving reach. Both teams powered through, trying to hold possession. LAZ scored a corner and soon another drilled shot from outside the 18. After halftime, TASIS found another opportunity as Marco de Cristofaro '21 found his second goal of the season on a drive up the right side. The boys were marking close on defense, winning more balls in the air, and pressing the LAZ half. But the opposing attacks were well-crafted, and LAZ found a late goal to win the game 3-2.
Day two opened with some of the highest-quality soccer the TASIS Varsity team has seen in many years. The match was up against the International School of Geneva (ISG), the top team of the tournament who defeated reigning champions ZIS the previous day. TASIS had been given a second chance, having just made the quarterfinals on a goal differential tiebreaker with ISZL in the group stage. The boys were focused and came prepared to show SGIS what they had been working toward all season. They played disciplined, selfless, balanced, and athletic soccer. The defense was rock solid. The midfield held their shape and controlled the field, winning almost every ball. Their offense was a threat, and the team dominated possession. It was only a matter of time. Tola, fed off a long ball by Larsson on a breakaway, beat the defense, went one-on-one with the keeper, and scored. It was a huge moment for the team. It had been a tough season to this point with a number of draws, but this was a completely different team. They held the entire game, dominating possession throughout, and showed restraint and sportsmanship against a team that would go on to take 2nd place in the tournament.
TASIS closed out the tournament with a win vs. LAZ, this time 4-3 in penalties. The boys returned home exhausted but confident that they have what it takes to do well even among the best. They played with commitment and enthusiasm throughout the SGIS Tournament and look forward to the ESC Championship in Lisbon next weekend.