High School Boys Soccer: El Rancho looks to sustain momentum

By Eric Terrazas, Staff Writer

With each victory, the stakes rise for El Rancho High School.

The Dons, fresh off Tuesday’s 1-0 overtime triumph over San Pasqual in a first-round game of the CIF Southern California Regional Division I boys soccer tournament, are setting their sights on Ontario in today’s 5:30 p.m. semifinal at Montebello High.

Junior midfielder Alex Roldan scored the game-winning goal Tuesday in the sixth minute of the extra period.

The Del Rio League and CIF-Southern Section Division 3 champion Dons (27-2-1), who are seeded third in the regionals, know things certainly are not going to get any easier.

“I’m sure it’s going to be another difficult game like (on Tuesday),” El Rancho coach Dominic Picon said. “All the teams are good when you get to this point in the season.

“I know all the teams are tired. Hopefully, we have two more games left in us.”

Ontario (22-7-1), which seeded seventh, edged second-seeded Golden Valley 1-0 in its first-round regional match on Tuesday. The

Mt. Baldy League co-champion Jaguars also captured the CIF-SS Division 4 title Friday with a 3-2 overtime win over South Torrance.

Jaguars midfielder Ixander Correa scored the game’s lone goal against Golden Valley.

Ontario is led offensively by senior forwards Adrien Perez and Jesus Soria. Other key players for the Jaguars include junior goalkeeper Antonio Ramirez, senior midfielder Luis Montiel and senior defender Fernando Arrellano.

Perez, Montiel and Arrellano each scored in Ontario’s victory over South Torrance.

The Jaguars are coached by Vince Mangione.

“We’re looking forward to it,” El Rancho’s Alex Roldan said of the game. “Hopefully, we could make history and get a win.”

El Rancho’s offense is paced by senior forward Cristian Roldan, who has scored a team-high 53 goals. He said he is hoping the home crowd will boost the Dons’ prospects.

“With the crowd behind us, I think anything is possible,” Cristian Roldan said.

The Dons also feature the senior foursome of midfielder Miguel Vilchis, defender Leo Cerna, forward Jaime Moreno and forward Mauricio Lopez.

“The scores will be a lot closer,” Picon said. “There will probably be less scoring than the regular season and the playoffs.

“We’re proud of the boys so far. They have shown a lot of grit.”

Today’s winner advances to Saturday’s regional championship game, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Warren High in Downey.

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