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Success on the pitch propels nine area teams to CIF soccer semifinals Phillip Brents | Wed, Mar 05 2014 02:09 AM

Heavy rains and high winds did not dampen the spirit nor success of South County soccer teams involved in last weekend’s quarterfinal-round of the San Diego Section playoffs.

Teams with natural turf fields moved games to venues with artificial surfaces; those teams with home turf fields played in the pouring rain.

The Bonita Vista, Southwest and Chula Vista High Tech girls teams all advanced with quarterfinal victories while the Eastlake, Castle Park, Olympian, San Ysidro and Southwest boys teams also all advanced in a gutsy display for resolve against the adverse elements.

Semifinal-round matches are scheduled Tuesday and Wednesday, with the winners advancing to this weekend’s championship round games at San Diego Mesa College and Clairemont High School.

For updates, visit the website at www.cifsds.org.

Titan-ic win
The playoffs have been uncharted territory in recent years for Eastlake, but the second-seeded Titans responded with a 2-0 victory against visiting Pacific Ridge in a Division III match-up on Saturday.

“With five starters out with injuries, we shuffled a few players around and, with depth, we were able to jump out to an early lead,” EHS coach Jason Renfro said.

Adrian Romo scored from 20 yards out, assisted by Josue Cueva, in the third minute.

In the 69th minute Luis Banuelos scored from just inside the box, assisted by Michael Bogart.

A solid performance from goalkeeper Jose Cervantes and the Titans’ shuffled- around defense closed the door on the seventh-seeded Firebird (12-4-4). 

“The midfield saw Leo Robles control the game with his passing skills, while Jorge Gil, Adrian Romo and Kyle Morton put in a very workmanlike game,” Renfro said.

The Titans improved to 13-6-4 with the quarterfinal win to secure a berth in Wednesday’s semifinal match against third-seeded Fallbrook (9-10-4).

Eastlake’s success on the pitch this season obviously captured the attention of supporters. “The vision of looking into the stands and looking at where we’ve come from opening tryouts to now seeing a packed house is an amazing accomplishment for these young men,” Renfro said.

Getting their kicks

Castle Park’s boys team received a showcase performance from sophomore Miguel Alvarez as the fourth-seeded Trojans subdued 12th-seeded King-Chavez, 6-0, in a game played Saturday at Otay Ranch High School. Alvarez scored three second-half goals as Castle Park (13-5-4) opened up the offense after taking a 1-0 halftime lead.

The Trojans, who defeated Cathedral Catholic to win the Division III title in 2010, continued their championship quest with a match against at top-seeded Coronado (20-1-2) in Wednesday’s Division II semifinals.

Soaring like an Eagle
Olympian, braced by 2013-14 section goal-scoring king Branden Sanchez, kicked off post-season play searching for some respect in the Division II playoffs — and getting it — with upset wins in the first round on Feb. 26 against sixth-seeded Granite Hills (4-3 win in a kicks-from-the-mark shootout) and in Saturday’s quarterfinals against third-seeded Oceanside (2-1 overtime win).

The playoff victories catapulted the 11th-seeded Eagles (10-6-6) into Wednesday’s semifinals against second-seeded Rancho Bernardo (11-9-3).

In the first-round match at Granite Hills, Sanchez scored twice while teammate Andres Lara scored once as the teams battled to a 3-3 standoff. Goalkeeper Steven Williams recorded nine saves through 80 minutes of regulation play and 15 minutes of sudden-victory overtime beforfe the Eagles won the tie-breaker.

Saturday’s game in Oceanside ended with a golden goal in the 92nd minute. Santino Persona and Alejandro Zazueta each scored goals, both assisted by Joshua Blanco, while Williams was credited with seven saves in the upset win.

Cougars on the prowl

San Ysidro, seeded fourth in Division IV, edged fifth-seeded Del Norte, 2-1, in another boys match played Saturday to give the South County teams an impressive nine wins in the CIF quarterfinals (boys and girls teams combined, including Hilltop’s upset over No. 1 Poway in the boys Open Division).

The win advanced the Cougars (9-8-2) to Wednesday’s semifinals at top-seeded Monte Vista (10-3-6).

Girl powered
Bonita Vista, seeded third in the Division I field, used a goal scored late in the match by freshman Natalya Romaine, assisted by senior Jennifer Ballez, to eliminate sixth-seeded San Marcos in a game played last Friday at Mater Dei Catholic High School.

The win propelled the Barons (18-3-2) to Tuesday’s semifinal match at second-seeded Scripps Ranch (19-2-4).
Bonita Vista produced 13 shots on the rainy evening while BVHS goalkeepers Madison McFarland and Amber White combined for three saves to record the shutout victory.

High Tech Chula Vista, meanwhile, has turned the Division III field on its end with a pair of surprising results in its opening two playoff games. The 12th-seeded Bruins shocked fifth-seeded Valley Center, 4-0, in first round play on Feb. 25, and then scored an impressive 2-1 knockout of fourth-seeded Central Union last weekend.

High Tech Chula Vista’s playoff odyssey took the underdog Frontier League champions (17-3-5, 9-0 in league) to a pinnacle match-up at top-seeded Escondido Charter (16-3-2) on Tuesday. 

Double dip
Southwest’s girls and boys teams played a double-header Monday at San Ysidro High School, with the Raiders coming out victorious at both ends.

Southwest, the No. 2 seed in the Division IV girls field, defeated Southwest El Centro, 6-3, in the opener of Monday’s twin-bill. Elena Perez scored three goals to key the win while Sylvia Rojas scored two goals and Lennia Reyes tallied once.

The victory propelled the Raiders (17-5) to Tuesday’s semifinal match against third-seeded High Tech San Diego (13-9-0).
In the boys game, Rafael Espinoza scored both goals in Southwest’s 2-0 win over seventh-seeded Calexico (13-8-4).
The win pushed the Raiders (16-2-4) to Wednesday’s Division I semifinals against sixth-seeded Escondido (9-3-7).



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 (18-2-4) 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
(2) Eastlake 1, (3) Fallbrook 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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