Chino Hills Tom checks out games all over the I.E., Friday he watched the Glendora boys soccer team clinch the Sierra League title with a 2-1 win over Ayala.
Tom Wrote: The Glendora high school boys soccer team will leave for the Baseline League next season, but not after winning its first Sierra League title in school history with a 2-1 victory at home over Ayala on Friday.
And what made it sweeter is that both goals came from an unlikely duo. Glendora junior defender Ferny Martinez finished Jeremy Bishop’s long cross in the 77th minute, breaking a 1-1 tie and ending a title drought that had lasted far too long for the Tartans. (To continue, click thread)
“It was sweet, and a nice way to say goodbye to the Sierra League,” Tartans coach Bill Mair said. “We needed that win, it gives us momentum going into the playoffs.”
Ayala senior Austin Vizcaino scored to put his team up 1-0 in the eighth minute, but the Tartans weren’t rattled, remembering what Mair told them in a pre-game speech.
“We know what we need to do, don’t get your heads down if we fall behind,” Mair told them. “And if you keep playing, we can do it.”
For Mair, it wasn’t the regular cast of stars that helped the Tartans win, but a seldom used defender called up from junior varsity earlier in the day to replace one of the Tartans’ top scorers.
When Mair learned he had lost senior Woody Woodward to a fractured foot, he let sophomore Patrick Vincent know that he would be playing in the most important game of the season, and Vincent delivered, tying the game, 1-1, in the 36th minute.
Vincent finished Ricky Prouty’s shot that rebounded off the crossbar and fell in front of his lap.
“I just had to get there and finish it,” Vincent said.
The game took a turn in the Tartans’ favor when the Bulldogs started committing silly penalties, and after senior midfielder Tim Baker was whistled for a foul, given a yellow and then a red card for unsportsmanlike conduct (42th minute) — the Bulldogs were down to 10 men for most of the second half.
On the Tartans’ game-winning goal, they were awarded a free kick from 30-yards.
As Bishop lined up the free kick, Martinez snuck into the Bulldogs’ penalty area. As the ball floated towards him, he re-directed it into the goal past Bulldogs goalkeeper Matt McCleod, setting off a wild celebration on the Tartans’ sidelines.
It was Martinez’s only goal of the season, and one he obviously will never forget.
When asked about his two seldom used players who came up big, Mair said that’s what it takes to win titles.
“It’s always the case, you can’t rely on three or four guys,” Mair said. “Our big stars didn’t score, but that’s the difference between us this year from last year.”
For the Bulldogs, they knew there was not much left but to play the role of a spoiler, finishing 6-10-1 and 2-7.
The Tartans improved to 16-4-5 and 7-1-2 to finish ahead of second-place Chino Hills (12-7-5, 7-2-1) and third-place Diamond Bar (17-7-1, 7-3).