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Raiders clip Eagles' wings, advance to boys soccer semifinals Phillip Brents | Tue, Feb 26 2013 02:00 PM

The Olympian Eagles had to wait an extra day to record a 3-1 victory at Brawley in the opening round of the San Diego Section Division III boys soccer playoffs. The match, originally scheduled for Feb. 20, was postponed due to a cold winter storm front that dropped snow as low as 2,000 feet — thus imperiling travel to Imperial Valley along Interstate 8.

The game was played on Feb. 21 after road crews cleared snow from the highway. And it was a happy trip home for sixth-seeded Olympian, enjoying one of its best ever seasons on the pitch.

Francisco Salinas scored two goals and Branden Sanchez scored his 28th goal of the season to lift the Eagles. Esteban De La Torre was credited with one assist while Imami Faisal made six saves to help eliminate the 11th-seeded Wildcats (12-6-4).

But waiting for the winner were the third-seeded Southwest Raiders, who were hungry to begin post-season action after receiving a first-round bye. The Raiders were well rested after playing their final regular season match on Feb. 14 and, though tested by a determined Olympian team, emerged with a hard-fought 2-1 victory to advance to Wednesday's semifinals against second-seeded St. Augustine.

The win was the 14th of the season for Southwest against five losses. The Saints are 15-5-2 on the season after slipping past seventh-seeded Canyon Crest Academy 1-0.

Juniors Gabriel Alamillo and Rafael Espinoza scored goals to lead the Raiders against the Eagles. The goal was Alamillo's team-leading seventh of the season while Espinoza scored his sixth goal of the season.

"Gabriel is a very determined player who fights very hard every match," Southwest coach Giovanni Medina said. "His desire to want to score always makes it very difficult for any defender to stop him. Gabriel scored an excellent goal to put his team up 1-0 and then took the ball on a breakaway and got fouled inside the box to earn his team a penalty."

The two goals were too much for the Eagles to make up.

Olympian ended its season 14-10-1 after navigating a 4-5-1 record in Mesa League play.

The Raiders finished runner-up to the Chula Vista Spartans in the South Bay League standings with a 10-2 league record.

Wednesday's Southwest-St. Augustine game is scheduled at 6 p.m. at Mesa College. The winner advances to the Division III championship game on Saturday, March 2, at 11 a.m. at the same site.

Corner kicks

The South Bay League champion Spartans, seeded second in the Division I playoffs, were upset in last Saturday's quarterfinals by the 10th-seeded Torrey Pines Falcons in a penalty kick shootout after the teams had played to a 2-2 draw through 80 minutes of regulation time and one 15-minute sudden-victory overtime.

Ian Aschieris and Jacque Bialostozky each scored goals in regulation time. Bialostozky's goal sent the match into overtime; he also scored what proved to be the decisive shootout goal. Patrick Davis allowed two goals but made eight saves to earn the win. Davis blocked Chula Vista's final PK attempt to hand the win to the North County invaders in a game played on the newly resurfaced turf field at Otay Ranch High School.

The Falcons won the match by an official score of 5-4.

Torrey Pines upset seventh-seeded Mission Hills, 3-2, on Feb. 20 as Jeremy Dinkin scored all three goals for the Falcons. Davis allowed two goals but made seven saves to pick up the victory.

Torrey Pines (11-11-3) advances to Wednesday's Division I semifinals against third-seeded San Pasqual (15-3-3).

Meanwhile, third-seeded Mater Dei Catholic (11-5-4) will play at second-seeded King-Chavez (18-0-2) in Wednesday's semifinals after the Crusaders eliminated sixth-seeded La Jolla Country Day, 1-0, in last Saturday's quarterfinals.

San Diego Section Boys Soccer Playoffs
South County Scoreboard

Division I
First round – Feb. 20

(8) Otay Ranch 4, (9) Granite Hills 1

Quarterfinals – Feb. 23
(10) Torrey Pines 2, (2) Chula Vista 2 (Torrey Pines wins 5-4 in KFM)
(1) Carlsbad 2, (8) Otay Ranch 1

Division II

First round – Feb. 20
(8) Valhalla 1, (9) Hilltop 1 (Valhalla wins 4-3 in KFM)

Division III

First round – Feb. 21

(6) Olympian 3, (11) Brawley 1

Quarterfinals – Feb. 23
(3) Southwest 2, (6) Olympian 1

Semifinals – Feb. 27
(3) Southwest (14-5) vs. (2) St. Augustine (15-5-2), TBA

Division IV
First round – Feb. 20

(7) Clairemont 3, (10) Chula Vista High Tech 1

Quarterfinals – Feb. 23

(3) Mater Dei Catholic 1, (6) La Jolla Country Day 1

Semifinals – Feb. 27
(3) Mater Dei Catholic (11-5-4) at (2) King-Chavez (18-0-2), 5 p.m.

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