Boys Soccer All-Area: Bishop Amat’s Nathan DiFiori and Memo Gonzalez take top awards

Top Row (left to right): Mountain View’s Adrian Garcia, El Monte’s Jesus Garcia, Damien’s Garrett Souza, Charter Oak’s Federico Hurtado, Bishop Amat’s David Cabral, Bishop Amat’s Nathan DiFiori and Diamond Bar’s Andre Gamboa
Bottom Row (left to right): Sierra Vista’s Sebastian Ocampo, Damien’s Tim Ebiner, Dimond Bar’s Guy Horcasitas and La Puente’s Josue Horan in West Covina, Calif., on Thursday, March 18, 2015. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

Nathan DiFiori, Bishop Amat, Midfielder, Senior

Amat played in arguably one of the toughest leagues in the CIF-Southern Section, battling eventual divisional and state champion Cathedral, who is also the mythical overall state champion for Top Drawer Soccer, which also ranked Cathedral fifth in the country. DiFiori, who finished with a modest seven goals and six assists, was a finalist for player of the year in the Del Rey, which eventually went to Cathedral’s Saul Reyes. But the respect shown to DiFiori, who had a goal and assist in a 4-4 tie against Cathedral, shows what his value was to a Lancers’ team who had one of their best seasons in recent memory, finishing second to Cathedral with a 12-2-4 overall record before bowing out to eventual semifinalist Pasadena in the Division 3 playoffs.
For his effort, the Del Rey first-team selection has been named the San Gabriel Valley Tribune boys soccer player of the year for 2014-15.
“We had a lot of returning seniors with a lot of leadership under our belts,” DiFiori said. “Every game was hard in our league, so every game you knew you had to battle. We knew we were going to have a good year, but part of getting this (player of the year) was the fact I had a lot of good players around me.”

Memo Gonzalez, Bishop Amat

The Lancers struggled in recent years just to stay above .500 and were rarely discussed when ranking the area’s best teams, but they showed they were not only in the discussion this season, but arguably the top team around. The Lancers boasted the area’s biggest result, a 4-4 tie against powerful Cathedral in the Del Rey League and a sweep over Salesian, which led to a second-place finish in the Del Rey, which is arguably one of the toughest in the section.
Bishop Amat finished 12-2-4, losing only to Cathedral in a second meeting for the league title and to eventual CIF-SS Division 3 semifinalist Pasadena.
For his efforts, Gonzalez has been named the San Gabriel Valley Tribune boys soccer coach of the year for the 2014-15 season.
“This team had a lot of heart, there was no question the workrate day in and day out was there for us. There’s no question we had a tough league, but I thought we battled, we had 15 seniors and a lot of leadership and it showed.”

First Team
Defender: Josue Horan, La Puente, Senior
Defender: Tim Ebiner, Damien, Sr.
Defender: Adrian Garcia, Mountain View, Sr.
Midfielder: Guy Horcasitas, Diamond Bar, Senior
Midfielder: Jesus Garcia, El Monte, Junior
Midfielder: Andre Gamboa, Diamond Bar, Senior
Midfielder: David Cabral, Bishop Amat, Junior
Midfielder: Garrett Souza, Damien, Senior
Forward: Federico Hurtado, Charter Oak, Sr.
Forward: Sebastian Ocampo, Sierra Vista, Sr.
Goalkeeper: Carlos Ibarria, Northview, Senior

Second Team
Defender: Elmer Jacobs, Sierra Vista, Senior
Defender: Reginaldo Escobedo, Baldwin Park, Senior
Defender: David Alas, Covina, Senior
Defender: Sergio Medina, Baldwin Park, Senior
Midfielder: Xavier Jaime, Arroyo, Senior
Midfielder: Luis Diaz, Covina, Senior
Midfielder: Jayson Gomez, Diamond Ranch, Junior
Forward: Adrian Ramirez, Arroyo, Forward
Forward: Jhonata Batista, South Hills, Forward
Forward: Carlos Sierra, Charter Oak, Junior
Goalkeeper: Alec Arguello, Diamond Bar, Senior

Final Top Ten
1. Bishop Amat (12-2-4)
2. Damien (17-4-3)
3. Diamond Bar (17-6-2)
4. La Puente (15-3-3)
5. Sierra Vista (16-5-3)
6. Diamond Ranch (14-6-3)
7. Arroyo (15-7-1)
8. Charter Oak (18-7-2)
9. Baldwin Park (11-7-5)
10. Covina (11-9)

League champions
Baseline: Damien
Del Rey: Cathedral
Hacienda: Diamond Ranch
Miramonte: Garey
Montview: Baldwin Park
Mission Valley: El Monte
Palomares: Claremont
Valle Vista: Covina

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