High School Boys Soccer: Mighty San Clemente stands in El Rancho’s way of a title

By Eric Terrazas, Staff Writer

With a CIF-Southern Section Division 3 crown already under its belt, the El Rancho High School boys soccer team will look to add more hardware to its trophy case.

The Dons (28-2-1) will face San Clemente (32-2-1) in today’s Division I championship game of the CIF-SS Regional Championships, scheduled for 6 p.m. at Warren High in Downey.

Del Rio League champion El Rancho, the tournament’s No. 3 seed, is coming off a dominating 7-0 victory over Ontario in Thursday’s semifinals. Mauricio Lopez scored two goals to pace the Dons.

All that separates the Dons from a regional title is top-seeded San Clemente, which defeated El Rancho in the first round of the 2011 regional tournament. The Tritons went on to capture the regional crown that season.

“This is uncharted territory for our soccer program,” El Rancho coach Dominic Picon said. “We’re all excited. It’s going to be a David and Goliath type of match. San Clemente has been the benchmark for Southern California soccer. We’re one of the newer programs who are being recognized.

“We feel really good and we’re happy for our kids. They have worked really hard.”

Miguel Vilchis, Alex Roldan, Jaime Moreno, Cristian Roldan and Jesse Melendez also scored for the Dons against Ontario.

Cristian Roldan, who has a team-high 54 goals, understandably is looking forward to today’s final.

“We’re happy to be in the final,” Roldan said. “Hopefully, we could win our last game.

We’ve got to play our hearts out because it’s not going to be one-sided. We know it’s going to be much tighter than the game we had (on Thursday).”

San Clemente, which won the CIF-SS Division 1 and South Coast League championships, is coming off a 2-0 regional semifinal win over La Costa Canyon. Forwards Gage Zerboni and Blayne Martinez scored for the Tritons.

Zerboni has scored a school-record 31 goals this season.

Other top players for San Clemente, coached by Mike Pronier, include midfielders Alek Cucuk and Bryce Kaminski and goalkeeper Dylan DiGiacomo, who had there saves against La Costa Canyon.


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