Boys Soccer Finals: Finally, Baldwin Park captures Division 5 title, 1-0; Claremont pulls out 3-2 sudden-death win over Capistrano Valley

Division 2 championship at Mission Viejo
Claremont 2, vs. Capistrano Valley 1, sudden death overtime


Baldwin Park’s championship photo gallery.

By Fred J. Robledo, staff writer
Baldwin Park’s sweet moment finally arrived.
Not long after Baldwin Park boys soccer coach Ricardo Mira took the championship plaque and raised it following the Braves’ 1-0 win over Carpinteria in the CIF-Southern Section Division 5 championship at Warren high school in Downey on Saturday, he turned and stared at Eagles players picking themselves off the turf – a surreal appreciation of what they just accomplished, and how unlikely it was. (to continue click thread)

Note: For those El Rancho fans, El Rancho beat Oak Hills 4-2.


That was Baldwdin Park’s fate in 2009, losing the divisional title to power Salesian 2-1 in sudden death overtime — the same Salesian that knocked the Braves from the semifinals in 2010, and with it what Mira figured would be their last opportunity at a deep playoff run with every starter graduating except senior forward Christian Garcia.
“I understand how Carpinteria feels,” Mira said. “I was there, I know how terrible that feeling is.”
Then he turned to his right, looking on in almost disbelief as his team lined up for their championship portrait.
“Now I know what it feels like to win,” Mira said. “It’s emotional obviously, there’s some relief, but most of all I’m just so happy for these players because nobody gave them a chance, even their own coach doubted them at times. But I’ll tell you what, this is what happens when you persevere and you keep fighting, good things happen, and it couldn’t of happened to a better group.”
The Braves (20-3-2) were almost headed to sudden death for the second time in three years when Jaime Reyes’ shot deflected off an Eagles defender and rolled straight in front of Andres Gonzalez, who burst past a defender grabbing on his jersey trying to slow him down entering the penalty area.
Gonzalez broke free, then rifled home the game-winner in the 70th minute that not only gave the Braves their first soccer title, but the first team championship since the football team won a divisional title in 1991.
“To do this in the last game of your senior year in the (CIF) final is unbelievable,” Gonzalez said. “When I saw the ball drop in front of me I saw an opening and took it. They (defender) were grabbing on me but I just kept going and got off a good shot.
“I can’t believe it really. We’ve been through our heartbreak, but we committed ourselves, we worked hard and started really believing in the playoffs.”
It was a Braves team that advanced in the second round with a 4-3 sudden-death overtime victory over Lakeside after trailing 3-1 with 10 minutes to play.
And a team that was outplayed for the most part in the quarterfinals and semifinals, but still found its way past Los Amigos (1-0) and Animo Leadership (2-1 in sudden death), respectively.
“The way we came back against (Lakeside) set it all off,” Mira said. “We were getting dominated by Animo in the second half and still won that game.
“Sometimes it works out that way. (That’s soccer), you never know when it’s going to be your time. We had great teams the past two years, but it wasn’t our time yet.”
Even though he didn’t score, Garcia, the lone returner who has accounted for a team-leading 16 goals, had several chances and had a big impact in the outcome.
“This team has a lot of heart, that’s what it was,” Garcia explained. “For this to come my senior year, I couldn’t of dreamed of a better ending.
“It doesn’t erase the (previous) two years, but it feels like all the hard work finally paid off.”
Carpinteria, which finishes 20-4-3, had the most dangerous player on the field in John Requejo, Jr., a US. National team U-15 pool player. He nearly put Carpinteria up in the 18th minute, but his header was smothered by Braves goalkeeper Dayker Villalobos, who came up big throughout the afternoon.
Requejo kept the pressure on, breaking free up the left side in the 35th minute, missing a great opportunity sending his shot wide.
Baldwin Park’s Chris Rodriguez had a chance in the final minute of the opening half, a loose ball finding its way toward him from ten yards, but his shot ricocheted off a defender and out of play.
By winning the Division 5 title, Baldwin Park earns an invitation to the Southern California Division I Regional playoffs, which start on Monday. The pairings are announced today on cifstate.org.
fred.robledo@sgvn.com

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  • Balloon Guy

    Awesome to see El Rancho win a CIF championship!! Honor to the Blue and Gray!!

  • Bob

    Conqrats to Baldwin Park High School Boy’s Soccer Team!! You made your High School and City Proud!!!

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/tribpreps/2011/03/boys-soccer-fin-1.html R. Mira

    Thank God Baldwin Park’s Daddy Salesian moved up the ranks.

  • jcaz

    Congratulations Braves. I’m glad to see one of my home town teams win one.

    Awesome !

  • Anonymous

    Congratulations BP! You are a strong team that deserved the win today. I like your style of play and commend you, but time to move up and play schools more your size. Carp a public High School has 600-700 students while you guys have over 2200? Good Luck in the regionals.

  • soccer fan

    Wow! Baldwin Park finally got its CIF title after beating another public school 3 times SMALLER than BP. I remember Coach Mira whining last year about losing to Salesian because it is a private school. I wonder how he feels now after beating a tiny public school in Division V?

    Why isn’t Baldwin Park playing in a higher division?

    Fred you are wrong about the automatic invote to the State Regional Tournament. The Southern Section gets 4 spots in each division. BP is in Division I for the Regional (schools with enrollments above 2299). If the Division I, II, III, and IV Southern Section champions all have enrollments above 2299, they will get the 4 spots…and BP will sit home. So far, I know that El Rancho(IV), Paramount (II), and San Clemente (I) have won. If Capistrano Valley won Division III, the BP will be left out of the Regional.

    Even if they squeak in by CV losing, I think we’ll see them get crushed when they have to play against quality teams their own size.

  • Fred Robledo

    Soccer fan, Baldwin Park is in, guaranteed

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/tribpreps/2011/03/boys-soccer-fin-1.html#_login soccer

    When coach Mira was talking about playing Salesian in the past few years he was referring to the fact that private schools can recruit players unlike public schools. He was not talking about the size of the school.
    Salesian has soccer players that sign up from all over the state and area just to play soccer…public schools have rules and regulations on students living within their area only and within a certain time frame to be eligible to play for their school.
    Next….Baldwin Park did play some large schools like our own…our league is stacked with schools that have the same amount of students or close to it. There were no small schools like yours in our league section…
    what we drew for cif was not our choice…….if we had been in the other bracket we would have come up against some large schools also…and so would have your team….We finally one our first championship and instead of being proud for us…you put us down….why???? The one thing we did was think strongly about how we were in your shoes two years ago and what it felt like. There was a moment of pause for us in respect to your team. We ask for the same respect in return please….be proud for us…you may be in our shoes in two years!!!!

  • just sayin’

    soccer – if you don’t think public schools have players from out of their attendance boundaries it’s time to crawl out from under that rock. there are these things called open enrollment, incoming 9th grade eligibility and the one time transfer before the soph year. there’s movement everywhere – and usually to the better schools – not just the private ones

  • soccer fan

    It just seems bizarre to me how the soccer divisions seem to totally ignore school enrollment. Every other sport in CIF seems to at least take enrollment into consideration when drawing up the divisions.

    In fact, in some of the sports, enrollment is the sole criteria for drawing division lines. My son ran cross country in addition to playing soccer. Enrollment is the only criteria used by CIF to draw the division lines in XC. Enrollment is a major factor determining divisions in football and basketball as well.

    But in soccer, HUGE public schools can be found in 6 of the 7 divisions. As a matter of fact, HUGE public schools won 6 of the 7 boys CIF championships this weekend!

    If enrollment is a useful and legitimate criteria for drawing division lines in some sports, why is it not in soccer?

  • BRAVETOWN

    LET ALL THE HATERS START HATING. CONGRATS TO THE BRAVES FOR EARNING THE C.I.F. CHAMPIONSHIP. NOONE WILL EVER BE ABLE TO TAKE THAT AWAY FROM YOU GUYS, NO MATTER WHAT THEY POST ON THIS BLOG. YOU BOYS HAVE DONE YOUR COMMUNITY AND ALUMNI PROUD. IT SEEMS THIS WAS A WORK LONG IN WAITING. SURE, ANIMO, LOS AMIGOS, AND LAKESIDE, MIGHT OF BEEN BETTER, BUT BOTTOM LINE IS, YOU BOYS FOUND A WAY TO BEAT ALL THOSE TEAMS. AND TO THE BRAVES FANS, WAY TO GET BEHING YOUR TEAM AND SUPPORT THEM. FOR THE LAST FIVE OR 6 YEARS YOU GUYS HAVE HAD BEEN SO CLOSE. THIS IS FINALLY REDEMPTION FOR ALL THOSE TEAMS SOO TALENTED THAT COULDNT GET THE JOB DONE. NICE TO SEE OLD BRAVES RETURNING TO HELP THIS YEARS TEAM. WHAT A GREAT JOB. SO HATERS SAY WHAT U WANT, BUT BRAVES ARE CHAMPS. AND ALSO TO LOSE IN STATE, YOU HAVE TO BE IN STATE, HOW MANY TEAMS CAN SAY THEY LOST OR EVEN PLAYED IN A STATE PLAYOFF GAME???

    GO BRAVES !!!!

  • clarification

    Not haters, only observers. People who reveal the truth are not haters.