CLAREMONT – The only thing better than playing for two championships in two years is playing for three.
For two seasons in a row the Oak Hills High School boys soccer team has lost in the CIF-SS finals. But thanks to Wednesday’s hard-earned 1-0 semifinal victory over top-seeded Claremont in the Southern California Regional Championships, the Bulldogs will play for the Division II championship on Friday against third-seeded Santa Barbara at 7:30 p.m. at Warren High.
“We weren’t thinking about a title today, just thinking about beating a very good team,” Oak Hills coach Darren Goodman said.
“Nobody seems to give us much credit down the hill. We were ranked ninth in our own CIF division and here we are beating the Division 2 champ. If we win Friday we’ll get that respect.”
Wednesday’s victory, courtesy of Chazz Cameron’s counter-attacking goal in the 25th minute, marked the fifth win in six postseason games for Oak Hills, the lone exception a 4-2 loss to El Rancho on March 5 in the CIF-SS Division 4 final. CIF-SS Division 2 champion Claremont carried just one loss into the semifinal meeting with the fifth-seeded Bulldogs (24-2-3).
La Jolla 2, Bishop Amat 0
Consecutive bus trips to Bakersfield and San Diego finally got the best of the Lancers, who had no answer for the Vikings (17-3-3) and Callan Parra, who scored two goals.
Bishop Amat (28-2) had three chances to score in the final 15 minutes but came up empty.
“We didn’t play one of our better games,” Bishop Amat coach Ruben Gonzalez said. “All the credit goes to La Jolla. But we just ran out of gas.
“Our goal at the beginning of the season was to win (a CIF-Southern Section title). The rest was extra. But to play Friday, then turn around with trips to Bakersfield on Monday and here today finally caught up with us.”