South Pasadena High’s boys’ soccer team moved into third place and qualified for the CIF-Southern Section playoffs with a 3-0 victory Temple City at home on Tuesday.
With the win, the Tigers improved to 5-3-2, (11-4-4 overall) in Rio Hondo League play while the Rams fell to 4-5, 10-9. South Pasadena, which lost 3-1 to Temple City on Jan. 17, needed the win to lock up a spot in the postseason. The Tigers finish the regular season on Thursday when they go on the road to face 1-8 Blair.
Monrovia is the league frontrunner while La Cañada is the second place team.
Tuesday was special as SPHS seniors were recognized prior to the start of the game.
Jack Renken put the Tigers out front 1-0 with a goal in the first half and Niko Tripodes scored twice in the final minutes of the contest to seal the victory.
When asked what made the difference for the Tigers today, senior Hank Rainey said, “I think our team was really just hungry for the win. We have a lot of seniors who really wanted to make it to CIF and honestly just out hustled them.”
Rainey went on to add, “when our team is working together and playing with energy, we are really hard to beat. As a senior, I’m excited about the opportunity to play and hopefully make a run in the tournament, but at the same time it’s scary because any game could be my last in the Tiger uniform. We just have to take it game by game and hopefully we will end with a CIF ring.”
Following Thursday’s contest against the Vikings, the Tigers will await the announcement of next week’s first round CIF opponent.