High School Boys Soccer: El Rancho has a finishing touch

El Rancho players celebrate Saturday’s 3-0 victory over San Clemente in the CIF-State Division I Southern California Regionals. (Chris Burt / Correspondent)

Photo gallery: El Rancho-San Clemente boys soccer

By Eric Terrazas, Staff Writer

DOWNEY – El Rancho High School’s boys soccer team made history for the second week in a row at Warren High.

After winning the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 crown last weekend, the Dons added an more impressive honor to their already terrific season by defeating top-seeded San Clemente 3-0 in Saturday’s CIF-State Division I Southern California Regional championship game.

Mauricio Lopez jump-started the Dons by scoring the game’s first goal during the match’s 12th minute.

Jaime Moreno followed Lopez’s score by adding two goals of his own to pace the El Rancho offense by scoring two goals.

Saturday’s triumph was the culmination of a great season for Del Rio League champion and third-seeded El Rancho, which finished with an overall record of 29-2-1.

The victory also marked sweet payback for the Dons, who fell to San Clemente 2-0 in the first round of the 2011 regional tournament.

“Based on results, this is the best team I have ever coached,” El Rancho coach Dominic Picon said.

Lopez scored his goal by firing an attempt from about 10 yards, which stunned and beat Tritons goaltender Dylan Digiacomo on his right side.

El Rancho then continued to seize momentum when Moreno scored his first goal just two minutes later.

Moreno than completed the game’s scoring during the 27th minute.

Lopez set up the opportunity by firing an attempt that hit the crossbar. Moreno then cleaned up the rebound and converted.

“That first goal even shocked us,” Picon said. “That was a great shot.

“We knew we had to score early to stay with them.”

Moreno added, “It feels awesome to help my team win. We made history. It feels great.

“It’s indescribable right now.”

El Rancho’s defense also played a major role in its drive to the regional championship by holding the opposition scoreless in all three of its postseason matches.


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