Hart High sophomore Timothy Kim is a resilient young man.
Not only did he patiently maneuver around La Canada’s big, bruising back line before lacing a shot into the right side of the net for Hart’s only goal Friday, he also slogged back to midfield, fighting through a barrage of teammates who wanted hugs.
The only problem: La Canada played with a dogged spirit, too, scoring the equalizer in the 49th minute to end Hart’s third game in two days in a 1-1 tie at Hart High.
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Hart’s normal 11-man unit didn’t start the game. Indians coach Adonay Jovel didn’t insert most of his starters until the second half. The reason: Hart (7-3-2) could play as many as three games today depending on how it fares on the second day of the Cesar Chavez Tournament.
Thursday, the Indians opened the tourney with two wins, and Friday’s tie with La Canada (3-4-3) was another positive in Jovel’s book.
“All the guys who never get an opportunity to play, they played,” he said. “We gave all the kids a chance, and we got a tie out of it, which isn’t bad.”
The game’s first 15 minutes served as a preview of the rest of the afternoon — physical, choppy play contained mostly to the middle of the field. Then Kim put Hart out front with his goal in the 33rd minute. He hustled forward from his defender position, then methodically broke down an otherwise stalwart Spartan defense.
“I heard my coach yell, ‘Take it’ so I just had to dribble to find myself open, and I took the shot when I had the chance,” Kim said.
“It was a good feeling,” Kim said. “I don’t score often as a defender.”
The Indians led for the next 16 minutes. But Spartan Rustin Badie’s header off a Luke Bonham free kick knotted the score, 1-1. From there, Hart clanked a shot off La Canada’s crossbar, headed a ball just wide and survived numerous Spartan scoring chances.
Ultimately, Hart remained unbeaten for the third straight game, building some momentum after a recent two-game skid.
The Indians will open Foothill League play Tuesday at home against Saugus.