Fri, Dec 20 2013 01:27 PM Posted By: Phillip Brents
Southwest High School girls soccer coach Marco Beltran is proud of his team, and with good reason after the Raiders recorded a runner-up finish in the Limited Division finals of the prestigious 34th annual Bonita Vista Girls Barons Soccer Tournament.
“This is one of my strongest teams,” he said.
The Raiders overcame a 2-0 halftime deficit against Our Lady of Peace Academy in last Saturday’s division championship game at Bonita Vista High School to play into the fourth overtime period before the Pilots eventually scored the game-winner.
“Our girls showed a lot of heart,” Beltran said.
Elena Perez and Sylvia Rojas each scored second-half goals to propel Southwest, which defeated El Capitan by a 3-2 score in the day’s earlier semifinal match to reach the title contest.
The Raiders (5-2 overall) finished 3-2 in their five games at the Barons tournament, the largest high school girls soccer tournament in the state with more than 90 teams competing this year. Southwest blanked La Jolla Country Day to kick off tourney play on Dec. 7 and then blasted Castle Park, 10-1, on Dec. 10 before dropping a 1-0 decision to OLP to close out pool play on Dec. 12.
El Capitan had advanced to the semifinals with a 2-0-1 showing in pool play.
“It was a great win for the program to beat El Capitan,” Beltran explained. “It took overtime to beat us in the championship game. Give credit to OLP for doing that.”
The game-winning play came on a corner kick as the teams were playing with reduced rosters (every five minutes of scoreless play each team had to remove one player on the field). Lexis Athis took the corner and Danielle Dillard booted in the winner.
Despite the championship game setback, Beltran said the team’s expectations for this season remain the same.
“Our goal is to improve every game and to win the championship in our league and play to the best of our ability,” he said.
The rest will take care of itself.
The Raiders were the lone Metro Conference team to advance to last Saturday’s tourney finals.
Bonita Vista, which finished pool play undefeated with key victories against Granite Hills (4-1 on Dec. 7) and Poway (2-0 on Dec. 12) and a draw against San Pasqual (2-2 on Dec. 10), secured a berth in the Open Division semifinals against Scripps Ranch.
However, the Barons fell, 1-0, to the Falcons on a counter-attack goal in the final 30 seconds of regulation play.
“It hurts a lot, but it’s soccer,” BVHS coach Ryan Marquez said.
Scripps Ranch went on to claim the Open Division title with a 2-0 victory against Rancho Bernardo later in the afternoon.
The Barons improved to 5-1-1 with their 2-1-1 tourney showing against some of the section’s top teams in the early stages of the season.
“We beat Poway and Granite Hills,” Marquez noted. “We lost some top seniors last season to graduation, but we’ve started to make adjustments and to get better. Some of our underclassmen have stepped up for us. Everyone has contributed to make things happen. It’s a good start for us.”
Senior Jennifer Ballez and sophomore Amanda Castillo lead the Barons with four goals each through seven games while Ballez has tacked on five assists to pace the team in scoring with 13 points, followed by Castillo with 11 points.
Freshman Natalya Romaine and sophomore Shae Provencher each have scored three goals to help fuel the team’s offensive attack. On the defensive side, sophomore goalkeeper Madison McFarland has allowed four goals in seven games with four shutouts to her credit.
Bonita Vista will compete in the Division I tier for this season’s San Diego Section playoffs. Marquez said he expects his team to be “right there.”
“If we’re able to get on a little bit of a run, I think we have a chance for it,” he said.
Varsity division champions in this year’s Barons tournament also included West Hills (Premier Division), Francis Parker (Unlimited Division) and Serra (Classic Division).
Junior varsity champions included Torrey Pines (Open Division), La Costa Canyon (Premier Division), Valhalla (Unlimited Division), Canyon Crest Academy (Limited Division) and Canyon Crest Academy-frosh (Classic Division).
LCC edged Bonita Vista, 1-0, to capture the JV Premier Division title.
Hilltop advanced as far as the Premier Division varsity semifinals before falling to eventual division champion West Hills by a score of 3-2.
© 2009 The Star-News