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Saints declare second SoCal boys regional soccer crown

Dropping on penalty kicks within the semifinals of a playoff event may ship a highschool soccer workforce into the doldrums, however not the St. Augustine boys squad.

“I’m not going to fiddle with the soccer gods or lose any sleep as a result of we misplaced on penalty kicks,” stated longtime Saints coach Brendan Johnston. “We nonetheless had the play-in recreation.”

St. Augustine fell to San Pasqual on PKs within the CIF San Diego Part Open Division semis, however nonetheless had the chance to advance to the Southern California Regional Championships by advantage of a one-goal win over Del Norte within the play-in recreation matching the dropping semifinalists.

What adopted was a three-match run of SoCal Regional victories for the Saints, culminated by a 1-0 overcome Corona Santiago in Saturday’s Division II regional ultimate at Santiago Excessive. Freshman ahead Iain Wagner scored the successful purpose 20 minutes into the match and the Saints protection did the remainder as St. Augustine completed off a 14-2-1 marketing campaign.

The regional title is the second in program historical past for the Saints, who additionally received a SoCal title in 2012 below Johnston.

The three-time defending Western League champion Saints earned a visit to the 2021 regional ultimate by gorgeous high seed Aliso Niguel, 2-1, within the first spherical earlier within the week earlier than bouncing No. 4 Valencia, 4-1, within the semis on Thursday.

“It was an superior run to go on the street and beat three robust groups like that,” stated Johnston, whose workforce was seeded No. 8 for the regionals.

Wagner scored the primary Saints purpose towards Aliso Niguel, and senior Felix Calero netted the match-winner with 12 minutes remaining in regulation.

Valencia scored first within the semifinal matchup, however three second-half objectives by the Saints led the best way to the regional ultimate.

No. 3 seed Santiago, which went unbeaten in 10 league video games for the Massive VIII championship and was ranked No. 5 within the Southern Part, was saved out of the nets by the Saints protection and senior goalie Pablo Andrade, who had six saves within the shutout. The loss was solely the second of the season for the Sharks (16-2-1).

“Our defensive again line was stout,’’ Johnston stated, referring to juniors Santiago Gallego, Jan Carlo Garcia and Michael Patterson. “Gallego is a captain who’s the center and soul of our workforce.”

The successful purpose got here after a deflected shot taken by senior Dean Dickow.

“Dean made a superb run down the left facet and the goalie made a diving cease,” Johnston stated. “However the ball ricocheted, Iain was crashing and he slotted it for the winner.”

Women Division II

The No. 4-seeded Cathedral Catholic women have been outscored 4-1 at No. 3 Clovis Buchanan in Saturday’s regional ultimate. The Dons, champions of the Western League, completed the season at 14-3-4.

Cathedral Catholic reached the SoCal ultimate by advantage of earlier regional victories over No. 5 seed Claremont (2-1) and No. 8 seed Del Norte (5-0). The Nighthawks upset top-seeded La Mirada within the first spherical earlier than falling to Cathedral Catholic to finish Del Norte’s season at 12-5-3.

Boys Division V

No. 3 seed Olympian (16-3-2) dropped a 2-1 determination in Saturday’s regional ultimate towards top-seeded Santa Monica Crossroads (11-3-3) at Santa Monica Excessive.

Women Division III

Seeded No. 3, Westview (17-3-2) is internet hosting No. 5 Alta Loma (12-4-3) on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. for the regional championship after the Wolverines superior by defeating Hanford, 2-0, Friday night time in Visalia.

Hoff is a contract author.

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