Boys soccer advances to NCS after San Marin stalemate


Kasra Panahi

Jaden Sher readies for a kick as boys varsity soccer faces San Marin at College of Marin in Kentfield, Calif., on Jan. 26, 2023. Branson qualified for the NCS playoffs after battling for a draw.

By William Mueth

Branson boys varsity soccer faced off against San Marin on Thursday and drew the match to qualify for the NCS playoffs. 

It was a highly-anticipated match, and a win or draw for the team would result in the team qualifying. Led by coach Tom Ryan, the team was determined to finish on top and continue its journey in the North Coast Section.

“We have a goal to achieve,” Will Beere, a junior, said. “It’s not necessarily to win but to play as a team and do as well as we can.” 

The game started off strong for the Bulls, with both teams displaying fierce defense and aggressive play at the beginning of the first half. There was a lot of back-and-forth action, with neither team able to pull ahead. 

This momentum remained for the duration of the first half, and the Bulls found themselves unable to break through San Marin’s defense, but neither could San Marin break through theirs. Although disappointed with their offensive failure, the team would still be content with drawing as it enables the team to continue into NCS.

In the start of the second half, the Bulls came out with renewed energy and focus. They were able to apply more pressure on San Marin but due to some calls against the Bulls, they were unable to score. 

In the final minutes of the game, both teams got offensive opportunities to take shots on goal. However, a missed header on an open goal and confident defense in multiple one-on-ones by the Bulls led the game to end as a draw.

“We played a good game and I’m proud of the team for fighting for their season,” Wiley Kendall said. “Now we just need to keep on pushing.” 

Despite a losing record, the team looks forward to the remainder of its season and the opportunity to make a deep run into the NCS playoffs. Thursday’s game gave an inkling of the team’s postseason drive.

“We didn’t get many calls, but that’s the nature of the game,” Beere said. “We had an objective, and we executed it with energy.”

Correction: Wiley Kendall is not a team captain.