Two losses keep boys soccer out of playoffs
Ramona High School boys soccer Coach Michael Jordan knew that the Bulldogs would need to win at least one of their final three games to have an outside chance of a berth in the CIF Division II playoffs.
Ramona lost all three of those games, so the 2008-09 season ended with a three-game losing streak and a 6-14-1 overall record, including a 3-9 Valley League mark.
“When we play well, we can hang with any team in the county,” Jordan said. “We just can’t do it for a full 80 minutes.”
Ramona’s two-game winning streak ended Feb. 13 at Orange Glen, and the Bulldogs’ final road game of the season took place Feb. 17 at Westview.
“Westview players go so deep, and they just wear you down,” Jordan said.
The Bulldogs nearly scored early in the 6-0 loss, but John Randol’s shot hit the side post.
The Wolverines led 3-0 at the half.
Ramona closed out its season Feb. 19 at home against San Marcos. The Knights had defeated Ramona on Jan. 27 at San Marcos.
“We really wanted the opportunity to avenge our loss,” Jordan said.
The Bulldogs’ final home game honored Ramona’s 10 senior players, and the sportsmanship of the Knights allowed senior Johnny Sorenson to take the kickoff before kicking the ball out of bounds. That allowed Sorenson to start in his final high school game before limping off the field and spending the rest of the match on the bench.
“It was quite an emotional start to the game,” Jordan said.
Excluding that cameo appearance, Ramona was 4-2 when Sorenson was in the lineup. Senior Matt Legacy also started for the Bulldogs but was not at full strength.
The Knights scored two early goals on Ramona mistakes.
“It was the typical Jekyll and Hyde of our team,” Jordan said.
Although San Marcos led 2-0 at halftime, Ramona outshot the Knights by a 9-3 margin during the first half.
Jordan’s halftime speech addressed capitalizing on opportunities, but the Knights scored about 10 minutes into the second half for a 3-0 lead.
“Midway through the second half, we just started to play desperation soccer,” Jordan said.
Ramona’s first goal midway in the half originated from a Chris Huber throw-in while Michael Quilo was positioned behind a San Marcos defender.
“Chris made a great throw-in over both of them,” Jordan said.
Quilo parlayed the pass into the score. About three minutes later, Huber took possession of a loose ball near the goal and put a shot into the net to create a 3-2 score.
About three minutes after that, Huber had a breakaway opportunity. The Ramona team and the referee disputed whether Huber’s jersey was grabbed by a San Marcos defender, but Huber made an off-balance shot and missed wide. No red card or yellow card was issued and no foul against San Marcos was called.
“After that we were just kind of disheartened,” Jordan said.
The dispute between the CIF San Diego Section and the soccer officials’ association has led to the use of replacement referees during the season, and the referee for the Feb. 19 game was officiating only his third soccer game at any level.
“You can’t put the sole blame on that, but obviously that’s got something to do with it,” Jordan said.
San Marcos scored a late goal to wrap up a 4-2 victory.
The playoff seeding and selection meeting Feb. 21 reviewed overall records as well as league standings and head-to-head competition. The Valley League includes Mount Carmel, Westview, and Orange Glen, three of the county’s top 10 teams.
“There just isn’t parity with the leagues,” Jordan said. “There was some disappointment, but next year we’ll just try to schedule some of those Division II opponents so we have opportunities to play them.”
Although Ramona’s 2008-09 record was inadequate for a CIF playoff berth, it was an improvement over the 2007-08 season in which the Bulldogs finished 4-11-1 overall and 2-9-1 in Valley League competition.
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