It’s on folks, Salesian and Baldwin Park both won and will meet at Salesian in Tuesday’s semifinals, a rematch of last year’s Division 5 championship won by Salesian. I can’t think of a better way for the Braves to put their undefeated season on the line than against the team that beat them last…Meanwhile, the champions of the Valley, Mountain View, won 2-0 again despite not having reigning player of the year Diego Rodriguez, sidelined with a knee injury. Like former Houston coach Rudy Tomjanovich said, don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion.
Below: This was the scene following Salesian’s 2-1 sudden death overtime win in last years championship over Baldwin Park….
By Fred J. Robledo
BALDWIN PARK — In the moments that followed Baldwin Park High School’s 3-0 victory over Arroyo Grande in Thursday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 5 quarterfinal, what the Braves players really wanted to know was the final outcome between La Canada and Salesian. It was Salesian than handed Baldwin Park its last defeat, a crushing 2-1 sudden-death overtime loss in last year’s Division 5 championship, sending the Braves on a mission ever since. After hearing that Salesian had just knocked off La Canada 1-0 in sudden death overtime, the Braves got their wish, a semifinal rematch at Salesian in Tuesday’s semifinals. (To continue click thread)
CIF-SS Boys Soccer
Baldwin Park 3, Arroyo Grande 0
Salesian 1, La Canda 0, sudden death OT
Mountain View 2, Arrowhead Christian 0
“That’s the game we really wanted,” said Braves junior Christian Garcia, who scored in Thursday’s win. “We’ve got some revenge we have to payback, and we want to send our seniors out with (championship) rings.”
The top-ranked and undefeated Braves improved to 23-0-2 and are 46-2-2 since last year after beating Arroyo Grande (18-8-3), but they know the road must go through fourth-seed Salesian (18-4-2), a monster that has won three Division 5 titles since 2004.
Braves coach Ricardo Mira respects what they’ve accomplished, but that’s about it.
“I know we have to go through them, it’s the only way, but my issue has always been the same playing private schools that get to recruit, I’ll always have issues with that,” Mira said. “It’s a game that a lot of people want to see, so hopefully we can go there and show the strength of our program, and whatever happens, happens.”
The Braves started slow, but scored seconds before the halftime whistle when Edgar Padilla’s shot was mishandled by Eagles goalkeeper Bryan Rivas, allowing Ruben Zamarripa to score the first of his two goals to give the Braves a 1-0 lead in the 39th minute.
That seemed to spark the Braves, who scored again when Garcia headed home a cross from Andrew Gonzalez in the 49th minute, with Zamarripa closing it out by rifling home a left-footed shot in the 70th minute for the 3-0 lead.
“We’ve had problems getting off to good starts, and though that first goal sparked us, that was not our goal that was their error,” Mira said. “We played the way we’re capable of playing in the second half, but knowing who we’re playing next, we have to improve on our mistakes and our pressure if we want to get back to the championship.”
Division 6 Quarterfinals
Mountain View 2, Arrowhead Christian 0
After surviving the first two rounds by winning in sudden death overtimes, the defending champion and second-seed Vikings scored two-first half goals to advance to Tuesday’s semifinals, where they will host Pasadena Poly, a 3-0 penalty-kick winner over Tahquitz after that game finished scoreless after regulation and four overtimes.
The Vikings won without the area’s reigning player of the year, midfield architect Diego Rodriguez, who injured his knee in the second round and is doubtful for Tuesday’s game.
But others stepped up, Julio Fernandez heading home a throw-in from Fabian Villasenor in the 23rd minute, then Fernandez setting up Marcelo Rodriguez’s goal in the 26th minute to send them through to the semifinals.
“Even without Diego, we have players on the bench that can step up and they did,” Vikings coach Felipe Corona said.