Championship results: Bishop Amat girls beat St. Joseph 2-0 to share the Del Rey League title and Diamond Bar girls beat Los Altos 1-0 to claim the Hacienda league title.
By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
Usually celebrations like this are reserved for winning CIF-Southern Section titles, but listening to South El Monte boys soccer coach Nelson Rodriguez explain it, winning the Mission Valley League title over three-time league champ Mountain View is as good as it gets after knocking on the door so many times.
All South El Monte needed in Thursday’s league finale was a tie, and it got it, surviving a late goal from Mountain View and holding on in the final minutes to preserve a 1-1 draw.
South El Monte, which ended Mountain View’s 37-game league unbeaten streak in its previous match with the Vikings, finished 11-2-2 and 9-0-1 in league with the Vikings second at 11-4-5 and 8-1-1.
“We’ve been chasing them for three years,” said Rodriguez, who picked himself up after the players piled on top of him afterward. “We finished second every time to them and we suffered a lot. It was an uphill battle but we earned it. We earned it because we worked hard and put in the extra hours.” (To continue click thread)
Today’s Soccer Schedule
Los Altos at Diamond Bar, 5:30 p.m.
Rowland at Bonita, 3:30 p.m.
West Covina at Diamond Ranch, 3:30 p.m.
Mission Valley League
Mountain View at South El Monte, 3:15 p.m.
Gabrielino at Arroyo, 3:15 p.m.
Rosemead at El Monte, 3:15 p.m.
Azusa at La Puente, 3:15 p.m.
Sierra Vista at Duarte, 3:15 p.m.
Workman at Gladstone, 3:15 p.m.
Ganesha at Bassett, 5 p.m.
Claremont vs. South Hills at CDF, 5:30 p.m.
Damien at Ayala, 5:30 p.m.
Chino Hills at Charter Oak, 5:30 p.m.
Del Rey League
Bishop Amat at St. Joseph’s, 3:30 p.m.
Diamond Bar at Los Altos, 3:30 p.m.
Bonita at Rowland, 3:30 p.m.
Diamond Ranch at West Covina, 3:30 p.m.
Mission Valley League
South El Monte at Mountain View, 3:15 p.m.
Arroyo at Gabrielino, 3:15 p.m.
El Monte at Rosemead, 3:15 p.m.
La Puente at Azusa, 3:15 p.m.
Duarte at Sierra Vista, 3:15 p.m.
Gladstone at Workman, 3:15 p.m.
Bassett at Ganesha, 3:15 p.m.
South Hills at Claremont, 5:30 p.m.
Ayala vs. St. Lucy’s at Damien, 5:30 p.m.
Charter Oak at Chino Hills, 5:30 p.m.
The Eagles struck early.
Eagles midfielder Mario Burciaga nearly finished a cross but Vikings goalkeeper Christian Bucio made a great save off the line. But the ball popped straight up in front of Sador Rangel, who headed it home to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute.
South El Monte had few chances the rest of the way, partly because it wasn’t pushing forward, knowing Mountain View needed to score twice to share the league title.
Mountain View had a great opportunity to score in the opening minutes of the second half. Jesus Mariscal delivered a beautiful cross at the back post for Pablo Tellez, but his header from three-yards away was poked away by Eagles goalkeeper Frankie Reyes.
The Vikings’ William Castillo got loose on a breakaway in the 68th minute, but was taken down on a game-saving tripping penalty by Jesus Machuca, who was red-carded for the breakaway foul.
That forced the Eagles to play with ten players the rest of the way and that gave the Vikings the opportunity they needed, finally scoring in the 78th minute when Manuel
Garcia converted Carlos Zarate’s corner to make it 1-1.
South El Monte fought hard over the final minutes of regulation and almost ten minutes of injury time to squeeze out the tie, surviving three yellow cards and the ejection to Machuca.
Mountain View nearly won it in the final seconds on Andres Hernandez’s free-kick cross to on-rushing Alejandro Andrade at the back post, but Andrade couldn’t get his head on it, and the game ended seconds later.
Rodriguez said the red-card was a team move, and thought his team showed their guts over the final minutes down a man.
“Unfortunately he’s (Machuca) going to have to sit out the first (CIF) playoff game, but that’s what you do when you’re a team, you sacrifice yourself and that’s what happened. He did what he had to do and we got a title out of it.”
After a brief pause to catch his breath, Rodriguez turned toward his players and explained why they couldn’t stop celebrating.
“Every year Mountain View expects to win, that’s who they’re,” Rodriguez said. “They beat us every time, but we’ve been saying for a while to do this you have to fight back.
“I think we’ve been unlucky a couple of years coming up short against them, but they had that mentality that they were going to win. But not this year, it was them or us and it was finally out turn to prove to ourselves that we’re good enough.”
Mountain View coach Felipe Corona was obviously disappointed afterward, but he said the rivalry is good for everyone.
“The Mission Valley league is special,” Corona said. “They deserve credit, they fought hard and did what they had to do.
“I thought we didn’t play well in the first half, but in the second half we pushed our midfield up and basically played with three defenders. We showed a lot of heart scoring late and trying to get the game winner. But unfortunately, we just ran out of time.”