Watch highlights of Bella Vista’s win over Central Valley in CIF-SJS Div. II Championship
Central Valley boys soccer coach Omar Leon didn’t know what to tell his team.
The Hawks had just fallen to Bella Vista, 3-2 in penalty kicks in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division II Championship at Liberty Ranch High School on Thursday.
Central Valley entered Thursday’s game 0-5 all-time in section title games.
Make that 0-6.
“We do everything that is humanly possible and for whatever reason it doesn’t happen,” Leon said. “We have practiced PKs every day for the last month or so and we picked our best shooters and the goalie just guessed right.”
Broncos junior goalie Drew Bimson blocked three of five Hawks attempts during the shootout as Bella Vista won its second consecutive section title.
It was a feeling the Hawks (19-5-3) have felt before, most recently in 2017 when they lost to Lincoln in the D3 title game.
Tears. Utter shock. Disbelief.
“Life goes on,” Leon said. “I wish I could have the right words to tell these kids for all the work that they have done throughout the season.”
The game was scoreless through the first 80 minutes and Bella Vista scored the first goal of the game in the 85th minute when junior Aaron Farnan made a quick turn outside the left side of the box and kicked it into the left corner of the net.
That lead was short-lived as senior Gerardo Flores scored from 20 yards out with a shot over Bimson’s head just one minute later.
The season isn’t over for the Hawks as they will find out Sunday where they will play in the CIF State NorCal Regional Championships.
Jesuit 3, Turlock 0 in Lodi: The Marauders won their third section championship in the last five years behind two goals from junior Chris Myers.
The Bulldogs (22-2-3) couldn’t find the same magic they took to defeat the perennial section power 2-1 earlier this season.
“I think early mistakes in the first half took us out of the game,” said Bulldogs coach Doug Sperry.
Myers found a way to score from the right side six minutes into the match. Junior Matt Kahn scored in the final minute of the first half to extend the lead to 2-0.
Myers put the match away with his second goal in the 75th minute.
The Bulldogs will now have to regroup for a Northern California Regional Playoff game on Tuesday.
“It’s been an amazing year,” Sperry said. “I know it’s tough now, losing a section championship. We have to keep perspective. We’ve lost two games in (27) games this year. This is a special group of guys.”