The Star-News


Southwest Raiders lead parade of three South County teams into CIF soccer finals

Thu, Mar 06 2014 11:42 PM Posted By: Phillip Brents

The Southwest High School boys soccer team has annually placed itself among the top 10 San Diego Section teams but winning a division championship trophy has proven somewhat elusive.

The Raiders captured the 2003 Division III title with a 2-1 overtime victory against Escondido and also recorded runner-up finishes in both 2008 and 2009.

Southwest once again finds itself in the CIF championship match after a succession of near-misses in the semifinal round. This year’s Raider squad, however, looks to be the best the school has field over the last three years and, with the disqualification of top-seeded Orange Glen for using an ineligible player in its 4-0 win over Rancho Buena Vista in the quarterfinals, second-seeded Southwest (17-2-4) has to be considered the favorite when it engages ninth-seeded San Dieguito Academy (8-7-5) in Saturday’s Division I final at Mesa College.

Kick-off is 7 p.m.

Southwest, which is braced by a half-dozen legitimate goal-scorers and a stingy defense, is a well-organized team led by second-year herad coach Giovani Medina, brother of the Raiders’ previous coach Guillermo Medina, who now serves as the school’s athletic director.

Southwest won the inaugural Metro-South Bay League title with a 5-0-1 league record. The one tie was against San Ysidro (1-1 on Feb. 5). However, the Raiders avenged that with a 5-0 win in the second round of league play.

Southwest has not allowed a goal in claiming its opening two playoff matches.

 Team – and school – pride is obviously at a peak.

“If we win this banner, it will be the first CIF banner in 11 years for any sport at Southwest High School,” principal Lee Romero said. “Many members of this team have been playing together since they were in elementary school. Southwest High School has had a strong of tradition of success in soccer, known at Southwest as futbol. Advancing to the finals and hopefully winning a CIF banner will be a huge accomplishment for our school. At Southwest High School, we love our futbol.”

There were early expectations of an Orange Glen-Southwest finals showdown. The section office reinserted RBV in the playoffs, though the Longhorns provided little fight in Wednesday’s semifinals against an upset-minded San Dieguito Academy team that has now eliminated three higher-seeded teams, staring with Metro-Mesa League champion Otay Ranch in the opening round on Feb. 26 and then, in an overtime quarterfinal stunner, top-seeded St. Augustine.


Southwest rolled past sixth-seeded Escondido, 3-0, in Wednesday’s semifinal match at San Ysidro High School, with goals coming from Rafael Espinoza, David Paez and Bernardo Leyva.


Espinoza had both goals in the Raiders’ 2-nil quarterfinal victory against seventh-seeded Calexico on Monday. He finished the regular season as the team’s top scorer with 20 goals and seven assists.

The Raider defense, meanwhile, has recorded 11 shutouts this season. The Raiders are unbeaten in their last nine matches (8-0-1). Losses have come against Hoover (2-1 on Dec. 21) and Chula Vista (5-0 on Jan. 24)

Getting their kicks
Also getting a chance to showcase their programs in this weekend’s championship finals will be the San Ysidro Cougars (Division IV boys) and the Chula Vista High Tech Bruins (Division III girls).

While the Raiders have enjoyed a lengthy stay in the section’s top 10 rankings this season, both San Ysidro and Chula Vista High Tech have, for the most part, flown under the radar this season.

San Ysidro (10-8-2, 4-1-1 in league play) finished runner-up to Southwest in the Metro-South Bay League standings. What helped the Cougars in the seeding arena were non-league victories against Metro-Pacific League teams Hilltop (1-0) and Castle Park (2-1), both of which advanced to this year’s semifinals in their respective divisions.

San Ysidro received the No. 4 seed in Division IV and edged fifth-seeded Del Norte, 2-1, in the quarterfinals before pulling off a 1-0 elimination victory at top-seeded Monte Vista (10-4-6) on Wednesday.

The Cougars will play third-seeded Hoover (11-9-1) in Saturday’s division final at 1:30p.m. at Clairemont High School.

High Tech Chula Vista, meanwhile, has simply turned the Division III girls field on its end with a string of surprising results in its opening three playoff games. The 12th-seeded Bruins (18-3-5) shocked fifth-seeded Valley Center, 4-0, in first round play on Feb. 25, then scored an impressive 2-1 knockout of fourth-seeded Central Union in last weekend’s quarterfinals before edging top-seeded Escondido Charter, 1-0, in Wednesday’s semifinals.

High Tech Chula Vista’s amazing playoff odyssey takes the Bruins to Saturday’s division championship game against second-seeded Helix (8-9-5) at Mesa College. Kick-off is 11 a.m.

The Bruins finished 9-0 in Frontier League play and have proven their record is no fluke against competition from perceived superior leagues.

Leading the charge offensively for the Chula Vista team have been senior Alexie Gates, junior Rachel Walden, sophomore Ashley Fernando, junior Brittney Aceron, junior Nicole Torres and sophomore Chloe Rodrigues in support of sophomore goalkeeper Sierra Sanchez.

Despite what plays out in Saturday’s CIF title game (the Brusins lost to Helix by a 2-1 score in December), Chula Vista High Tech has certainly earned the respect of several Metro Conference teams. The Bruins own victories against Montgomery (9-0) and Mar Vista (2-1 and 2-0) and ties against Olympian (1-1 twice) and Otay Ranch (1-1).

The Bruins enter Saturday’s game against the Highlanders riding an impressive 15-game unbeaten streak (13-0-2).



SAN DIEGO SECTION SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIPS
Boys Finals
Open Division

Friday, March 7
(2) Carlsbad (19-4-3) vs. (5) Torrey Pines (12-7-7), 7:30 p.m. at Mesa College

Division I
Saturday, March 8
(2) Southwest (17-2-4) vs. (9) San Dieguito Academy (8-7-5), 7 p.m. at Mesa College


Division II

Saturday, March 8
(1) Coronado (21-1-2) vs. (2) Rancho Bernardo (12-9-3), 7 p.m. at Clairemont High School

Division III
Saturday, March 8
(3) Fallbrook (9-10-5) vs. (9) Patrick Henry (9-7-5), 1:30 p.m. at Mesa College

Division IV
Saturday, March 8
(3) Hoover (11-9-1) vs. (4) San Ysidro (10-8-2), 1:30 p.m. at Clairemont High School


Division V

Friday, March 7
(1) Gompers Prep (18-0-1) vs. (2) Crawford (11-6-4), 7:30 p.m. at Clairemont High School

Boys Semifinals
Open Division
(5) Torrey Pines 3, (8) Hilltop 1

Division I
(2) Southwest 3, (6) Escondido 0

Division II
(1) Coronado 2, (4) Castle Park 0
(2) Rancho Bernardo 2, (11) Olympian 0

Division III
(3) Fallbrook 1, (2) Eastlake 1 (Fallbrook wins KFM tie-breaker 3-0)

Division IV
(4) San Ysidro 1, (1) Monte Vista 0


Girls Finals
Open Division

Friday, March 7
(5) Westview (16-6-6) vs. (3) La Costa Canyon (16-5-3), 5 p.m. at Mesa College

Division I
Saturday, March 8
(1) Cathedral Catholic (22-2-3) vs.  (2) Scripps Ranch (20-2-4), 4:30 p.m. at Mesa College

Division II

Saturday, March 8
(4) Granite Hills (12-5-2) vs. (3) Coronado (12-8-6), 4:30 p.m. at Clairemont High School

Division III
Saturday, March 8
(12) Chula Vista High Tech (18-3-5) vs. (2) Helix (8-9-5), 11 a.m. at Mesa College

Division IV
Saturday, March 8
(1) Serra (16-7-1) VS. (3) San Diego High Tech (14-9), 11 a.m. at Clairemont High School

Division V

Friday, March 7
(4) Del Lago Academy (15-6-0) vs.  (2) Preuss (9-5-1), 5 p.m. at Clairemont High School

Girls Semifinals
Division II
(2) Scripps Ranch 2, (3) Bonita Vista 0

Division III
(12) Chula Vista High Tech 1, (1) Escondido Charter 0

Division IV
(3) High Tech San Diego 2, (2) Southwest 0


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