Strong support from those in the stands played a key role in South Pasadena High’s 3-0 win over Riverside Prep of Oro Grand Wednesday night as the Tigers continue to roll in the CIF-Southern Section playoffs.
The players feasted on the applause, cheers and good vibes from those bundled up in heavy coats and gloves fighting off the cold at Roosevelt Field on the SPHS campus.
“Our team played with a lot of energy thanks in large part to the big crowd,” said Tigers’ player Hank Rainey, who celebrated the CIF second round victory with his teammates.
Perseverance, grit and sheer determination were on display as the Tigers put together one of their strongest efforts all season, setting the stage for Saturday’s quarterfinal match against Rubidoux of Riverside starting at 5 p.m. With the win, the Tigers improved to 15-5-4, coming off a 4-4-2 third place finish in the Rio Hondo League behind Monrovia and La Canada.
Today, South Pasadena is just three wins away from winning a coveted CIF crown.
Senior Captain Jack Renken scored twice for the Tigers on Wednesday and Caleb Lee, just a freshman, put the Tigers other point on the board. “It just seems like we wanted it more than Riverside Prep,” said Rainey. “Our midfield did a great job controlling the ball. Our defense was solid with no slipups. It was pretty easy slowing down their attack.”
Rainey says the team is enjoying its time together, especially during the postseason, “just staying loose,” he noted as the Tigers move along in search of the CIF championship.
South Pasadena, peaking at the right time, opened the playoffs with a 2-1 triple overtime wildcard victory over Valley Christian, then beat Crean Lutheran 2-1 on the road in a first round match before Tuesday’s win over Riverside Prep.