A three-peat is in the making in Valle Vista League boys soccer.
That was evident when Pomona High School first-year coach Albert Abdou was drenched with the traditional water bath by his players after a crucial win over second-place Nogales.
Pomona took a giant step toward winning its third consecutive league title with a 2-0 shutout against the visiting Nobles on Thursday.
Midfielder Adan Calderon and sophomore midfielder Edgar Contreras each scored a goal for Pomona (11-4-4, 8-1).
Calderon’s goal, which came in the 46th minute, was the first of the season for the senior.
“That goal gave us the momentum and we’re a second-half team,” Calderon said. “Cesar (Ortiz) shot it and it curved out and I just touched it with my right foot and one-touched it into the goal.”
Nogales (6-3-1 in league) defeated Pomona 4-1 in the first round, but the Red Devils have reeled off eight consecutive wins since that loss to take a commanding lead in the league.
“This is probably the most fortunate situation for me,” Abdou said. “This is my first year coaching the soccer program and fortunately we have kids that just work hard.”
Nogales scored three breakaway goals in its victory over Pomona, but the Red Devils turned it around and had a few breakaway opportunities of their own Thursday.
Nogales, which was without its top scorer Ezequiel Pena for most of the game, came out in the first half and was the aggressor, but missed on several scoring opportunities.
Pena was hurt three games ago and saw limited action Thursday.
In the 10th minute, Nogales senior midfielder Israel Alvarez had the ball close in and turned and shot outside the net and seconds later senior midfielder Kevin Delgadillo missed just over the top of the net.
Alvarez also missed just wide right of the goal just as the scoreless first half ended.
The second half was a different story for the Red Devils, who came out and controlled the first 10 minutes and much of the half.
Pomona senior forward Juan Guuiterrez had the first real scoring opportunity after dribbling the ball up the left side and taking a hard shot. Nogales sophomore goalkeeper Edwin Aparicio dove to his right and made the stop.
“In the second half I just started to play my game and we have a strong defense and they do the job all the time,” Guuiterrez said.
Pomona has registered nine shutouts this season, led by junior keeper Cesar Nunez.
Pomona scored its second goal of the game in the 62nd minute after another pass from Guuiterrez up to sophomore forward Carlos Vasquez, who passed over to Contreras for the quick shot in front of Aparicio.
“We started out slow and they (Pomona) came motivated and they were hungry,” Nogales first-year coach Rigo Fernandez said. “Earlier in the year our 4-1 win was probably motivation for them.”