By Eric Terrazas, Staff Writer
MONTEBELLO – For the second time in as many weeks, El Rancho High School’s boys soccer team will be playing for a championship.
Miguel Vilchis scored the Dons’ first goal on a penalty kick, which helped jump-start them to a 7-0 victory over Ontario in Thursday’s Division I semifinal of the CIF Southern California Regional Championships at Montebello.
Mauricio Lopez scored two goals to lead Del Rio League and CIF-Southern Section Division 3 champion El Rancho (28-2-1) to Saturday’s championship game against top-seeded San Clemente, which defeated La Costa Canyon 2-0 in the other semifinal.
The final is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Warren High.
Dons forward Cristian Roldan played an instrumental role in El Rancho’s first goal.
Roldan was making a run in the Jaguars’ zone when he was pulled down by Ontario defender Jose Soto, who was given a red card and was ejected.
Vilchis then made the Jaguars pay by scoring on the penalty kick in the game’s third minute.
The third-seeded Dons stepped up the pressure and took a 2-0 lead when Alex Roldan scored just two minutes later.
Lopez then gave the Dons a 3-0 halftime lead by scoring his first goal in the 20th minute.
Cristian Roldan set up the opportunity by making a run on the side and centering the pass to Lopez, who converted.
The second half saw no change as the Dons began to dominate.
Lopez helped El Rancho pick up where it left off by adding his second goal, with Vilchis assisting, in the match’s 45th minute.
Jaime Moreno then gave the Dons a five-goal lead when he scored just five minutes later. Moreno was set up by Cristian Roldan’s assist.
Cristian Roldan scored his team-leading 54th goal on a breakaway in the 58th minute.
Jesse Melendez closed the game’s scoring with four minutes remaining.
“Things broke for us early,” El Rancho coach Dominic Picon said. “Their weakness played to our strength. I think the speed of our play was a little too much for them. They had a hard time keeping up with our pace.”
Ontario, seeded seventh in the tournament, finished 22-8-1. The Jaguars earlier captured a Mt. Baldy League co-championship and a CIF-SS Division 4 crown.
“It’s been a great season,” Ontario coach Vince Mangione said. “It’s been an absolute pleasure to coach these kids. We could leave with our heads held high.”